Modelling and Using Response Times in Online Courses

01/23/2018
by   Ilia Rushkin, et al.
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Each time a learner in a self-paced online course is trying to answer an assessment question, it takes some time to submit the answer, and if multiple attempts are allowed and the first answer was incorrect, it takes some time to submit the second attempt, and so on. Here we study the distribution of such "response times". We find that the log-normal statistical model for such times, previously suggested in the literature, holds for online courses qualitatively. Users who, according to this model, tend to take longer on submits are more likely to complete the course, have a higher level of engagement and achieve a higher grade. This finding can be the basis for designing interventions in online courses, such as MOOCs, which would encourage some users to slow down.

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