ALE: Additive Latent Effect Models for Grade Prediction

by   Zhiyun Ren, et al.

The past decade has seen a growth in the development and deployment of educational technologies for assisting college-going students in choosing majors, selecting courses and acquiring feedback based on past academic performance. Grade prediction methods seek to estimate a grade that a student may achieve in a course that she may take in the future (e.g., next term). Accurate and timely prediction of students' academic grades is important for developing effective degree planners and early warning systems, and ultimately improving educational outcomes. Existing grade pre- diction methods mostly focus on modeling the knowledge components associated with each course and student, and often overlook other factors such as the difficulty of each knowledge component, course instructors, student interest, capabilities and effort. In this paper, we propose additive latent effect models that incorporate these factors to predict the student next-term grades. Specifically, the proposed models take into account four factors: (i) student's academic level, (ii) course instructors, (iii) student global latent factor, and (iv) latent knowledge factors. We compared the new models with several state-of-the-art methods on students of various characteristics (e.g., whether a student transferred in or not). The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed methods significantly outperform the baselines on grade prediction problem. Moreover, we perform a thorough analysis on the importance of different factors and how these factors can practically assist students in course selection, and finally improve their academic performance.


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