Language to Completion: Success in an Educational Data Mining Massive Open Online Class

Scott A. Crossley, Danielle S. McNamara, Ryan S. Baker, Yuan Wang, Luc Paquette, Tiffany Barnes, Yoav Bergner
2015 Educational Data Mining  
Completion rates for massive open online classes (MOOCs) are notoriously low, but learner intent is an important factor. By studying students who drop out despite their intent to complete the MOOC, it may be possible to develop interventions to improve retention and learning outcomes. Previous research into predicting MOOC completion has focused on click-streams, demographics, and sentiment analysis. This study uses natural language processing (NLP) to examine if the language in the discussion
more » ... orum of an educational data mining MOOC is predictive of successful class completion. The analysis is applied to a subsample of 320 students who completed at least one graded assignment and produced at least 50 words in discussion forums. The findings indicate that the language produced by students can predict with substantial accuracy (67.8 %) whether students complete the MOOC. This predictive power suggests that NLP can help us both to understand student retention in MOOCs and to develop automated signals of student success.
dblp:conf/edm/CrossleyMBWPBB15 fatcat:ycdt25qeubdhhfqqxlvj266pry