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Explainable Student Performance Prediction With Personalized Attention for Explaining Why A Student Fails

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

As student failure rates continue to increase in higher education, predicting student performance in the following semester has become a significant demand. Personalized student performance prediction helps educators gain a comprehensive view of student status and effectively intervene in advance. However, existing works scarcely consider the explainability of student performance prediction, which educators are most concerned about. In this paper, we propose a novel Explainable Student performance prediction method with Personalized Attention (ESPA) by utilizing relationships in student profiles and prior knowledge of related courses. The designed Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (BiLSTM) architecture extracts the semantic information in the paths with specific patterns. As for leveraging similar paths' internal relations, a local and global-level attention mechanism is proposed to distinguish the influence of different students or courses for making predictions. Hence, valid reasoning on paths can be applied to predict the performance of students. The ESPA consistently outperforms the other state-of-the-art models for student performance prediction, and the results are intuitively explainable. This work can help educators better understand the different impacts of behavior on students' studies.


EPARS: Early Prediction of At-risk Students with Online and Offline Learning Behaviors

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Early prediction of students at risk (STAR) is an effective and significant means to provide timely intervention for dropout and suicide. Existing works mostly rely on either online or offline learning behaviors which are not comprehensive enough to capture the whole learning processes and lead to unsatisfying prediction performance. We propose a novel algorithm (EPARS) that could early predict STAR in a semester by modeling online and offline learning behaviors. The online behaviors come from the log of activities when students use the online learning management system. The offline behaviors derive from the check-in records of the library. Our main observations are two folds. Significantly different from good students, STAR barely have regular and clear study routines. We devised a multi-scale bag-of-regularity method to extract the regularity of learning behaviors that is robust to sparse data. Second, friends of STAR are more likely to be at risk. We constructed a co-occurrence network to approximate the underlying social network and encode the social homophily as features through network embedding. To validate the proposed algorithm, extensive experiments have been conducted among an Asian university with 15,503 undergraduate students. The results indicate EPARS outperforms baselines by 14.62% ~ 38.22% in predicting STAR.


Knowledge Tracing: A Survey

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Humans ability to transfer knowledge through teaching is one of the essential aspects for human intelligence. A human teacher can track the knowledge of students to customize the teaching on students needs. With the rise of online education platforms, there is a similar need for machines to track the knowledge of students and tailor their learning experience. This is known as the Knowledge Tracing (KT) problem in the literature. Effectively solving the KT problem would unlock the potential of computer-aided education applications such as intelligent tutoring systems, curriculum learning, and learning materials' recommendation. Moreover, from a more general viewpoint, a student may represent any kind of intelligent agents including both human and artificial agents. Thus, the potential of KT can be extended to any machine teaching application scenarios which seek for customizing the learning experience for a student agent (i.e., a machine learning model). In this paper, we provide a comprehensive and systematic review for the KT literature. We cover a broad range of methods starting from the early attempts to the recent state-of-the-art methods using deep learning, while highlighting the theoretical aspects of models and the characteristics of benchmark datasets. Besides these, we shed light on key modelling differences between closely related methods and summarize them in an easy-to-understand format. Finally, we discuss current research gaps in the KT literature and possible future research and application directions.


Attentional Graph Convolutional Networks for Knowledge Concept Recommendation in MOOCs in a Heterogeneous View

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Massive open online courses are becoming a modish way for education, which provides a large-scale and open-access learning opportunity for students to grasp the knowledge. To attract students' interest, the recommendation system is applied by MOOCs providers to recommend courses to students. However, as a course usually consists of a number of video lectures, with each one covering some specific knowledge concepts, directly recommending courses overlook students'interest to some specific knowledge concepts. To fill this gap, in this paper, we study the problem of knowledge concept recommendation. We propose an end-to-end graph neural network-based approach calledAttentionalHeterogeneous Graph Convolutional Deep Knowledge Recommender(ACKRec) for knowledge concept recommendation in MOOCs. Like other recommendation problems, it suffers from sparsity issues. To address this issue, we leverage both content information and context information to learn the representation of entities via graph convolution network. In addition to students and knowledge concepts, we consider other types of entities (e.g., courses, videos, teachers) and construct a heterogeneous information network to capture the corresponding fruitful semantic relationships among different types of entities and incorporate them into the representation learning process. Specifically, we use meta-path on the HIN to guide the propagation of students' preferences. With the help of these meta-paths, the students' preference distribution with respect to a candidate knowledge concept can be captured. Furthermore, we propose an attention mechanism to adaptively fuse the context information from different meta-paths, in order to capture the different interests of different students. The promising experiment results show that the proposedACKRecis able to effectively recommend knowledge concepts to students pursuing online learning in MOOCs.


RKT : Relation-Aware Self-Attention for Knowledge Tracing

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The world has transitioned into a new phase of online learning in response to the recent Covid19 pandemic. Now more than ever, it has become paramount to push the limits of online learning in every manner to keep flourishing the education system. One crucial component of online learning is Knowledge Tracing (KT). The aim of KT is to model student's knowledge level based on their answers to a sequence of exercises referred as interactions. Students acquire their skills while solving exercises and each such interaction has a distinct impact on student ability to solve a future exercise. This \textit{impact} is characterized by 1) the relation between exercises involved in the interactions and 2) student forget behavior. Traditional studies on knowledge tracing do not explicitly model both the components jointly to estimate the impact of these interactions. In this paper, we propose a novel Relation-aware self-attention model for Knowledge Tracing (RKT). We introduce a relation-aware self-attention layer that incorporates the contextual information. This contextual information integrates both the exercise relation information through their textual content as well as student performance data and the forget behavior information through modeling an exponentially decaying kernel function. Extensive experiments on three real-world datasets, among which two new collections are released to the public, show that our model outperforms state-of-the-art knowledge tracing methods. Furthermore, the interpretable attention weights help visualize the relation between interactions and temporal patterns in the human learning process.