The 2010s have been labeled the “decade of NLP” — important progress was made in computational approaches to language data and tasks such as thematic analysis, text classification, and clustering, as well as machine translation. But what does the next decade hold for researchers and practitioners with qualitative or “thick” data—and does it look more like Natural Language Understanding than Natural Language Processing?

In this workshop, the opening presentation will provide definitions and examples of NLP for educators, review emerging definitions of NLU, and prepare the participants to utilize one major NLU tool with educational text data, in the context of discussing deeper understanding of text and what this may entail. Current, ongoing debates on the national stage about the future of AI will also inform our views of the future. A short bibliography of follow-up readings will also be provided.

Organizers: Pete Smith, Henry Anderson, Elizabeth Powers, Justin T. Dellinger

Target Audience: Practitioners, Researchers

Target Level: Introductory

Join us on February 28, from 3:00 until 4:30 pm, in the LINK Research Lab (246 Nedderman Hall).

Due to space limitations, please RSVP below. After reaching capacity, we will notify and add registrants to a waiting list. However, we will also stream live at

This event is sponsored by the Center for Research on Teaching and Learning Excellence and the LINK Research Lab.