Revealing the Hidden Patterns: A Comparative Study on Profiling Subpopulations of MOOC Students

by   Lei Shi, et al.

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



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