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Revealing the hidden patterns : a comparative study on profiling subpopulations of MOOC students.

Shi, Lei and Cristea, Alexandra I. and Toda, Armando and Oliveira, Wilk (2019) 'Revealing the hidden patterns : a comparative study on profiling subpopulations of MOOC students.', in Information Systems Development : Information Systems Beyond 2020 (ISD2019 Proceedings). .


Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) exhibit a remarkable heterogeneity of students. The advent of complex “big data” from MOOC platforms is a challenging yet rewarding opportunity to deeply understand how students are engaged in MOOCs. Past research, looking mainly into overall behavior, may have missed patterns related to student diversity. Using a large dataset from a MOOC offered by FutureLearn, we delve into a new way of investigating hidden patterns through both machine learning and statistical modelling. In this paper, we report on clustering analysis of student activities and comparative analysis on both behavioral patterns and demographical patterns between student subpopulations in the MOOC. Our approach allows for a deeper understanding of how MOOC students behave and achieve. Our findings may be used to design adaptive strategies towards an enhanced MOOC experience.

Item Type:Book chapter
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Date accepted:01 June 2019
Date deposited:04 July 2019
Date of first online publication:01 November 2019
Date first made open access:10 December 2019

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