This is an intermediate-level free artificial intelligence course. This course will teach the basics of modern AI as well as some of the representative applications of AI including machine learning, probabilistic reasoning, robotics, computer vision, and natural language processing. To understand this course, you should have some previous understanding of probability theory and linear algebra.
Since its introduction in 2011, there have been over 4000 MOOCs on various subjects on the Web, serving over 35 million learners. MOOCs have shown the ability to democratize knowledge dissemination and bring the best education in the world to every learner. However, the disparate distances between participants, the size of the learner population, and the heterogeneity of the learners' backgrounds make it extremely difficult for instructors to interact with the learners in a timely manner, which adversely affects learning experience. To address the challenges, in this thesis, we propose a framework: educational content linking. By linking and organizing pieces of learning content scattered in various course materials into an easily accessible structure, we hypothesize that this framework can provide learners guidance and improve content navigation. Since most instruction and knowledge acquisition in MOOCs takes place when learners are surveying course materials, better content navigation may help learners find supporting information to resolve their confusion and thus improve learning outcome and experience. To support our conjecture, we present end-to-end studies to investigate our framework around two research questions: 1) can manually generated linking improve learning? 2) can learning content be generated with machine learning methods? For studying the first question, we built an interface that present learning materials and visualize the linking among them simultaneously. We found the interface enables users to search for desired course materials more efficiently, and retain more concepts more readily. For the second question, we propose an automatic content linking algorithm based on conditional random fields. We demonstrate that automatically generated linking can still lead to better learning, although the magnitude of the improvement over the unlinked interface is smaller.
We propose SPARFA-Trace, a new machine learning-based framework for time-varying learning and content analytics for education applications. We develop a novel message passing-based, blind, approximate Kalman filter for sparse factor analysis (SPARFA), that jointly (i) traces learner concept knowledge over time, (ii) analyzes learner concept knowledge state transitions (induced by interacting with learning resources, such as textbook sections, lecture videos, etc, or the forgetting effect), and (iii) estimates the content organization and intrinsic difficulty of the assessment questions. These quantities are estimated solely from binary-valued (correct/incorrect) graded learner response data and a summary of the specific actions each learner performs (e.g., answering a question or studying a learning resource) at each time instance. Experimental results on two online course datasets demonstrate that SPARFA-Trace is capable of tracing each learner's concept knowledge evolution over time, as well as analyzing the quality and content organization of learning resources, the question-concept associations, and the question intrinsic difficulties. Moreover, we show that SPARFA-Trace achieves comparable or better performance in predicting unobserved learner responses than existing collaborative filtering and knowledge tracing approaches for personalized education.