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YouEDU: Addressing Confusion in MOOC Discussion Forums by Recommending Instructional Video Clips

Agrawal, Akshay and Venkatraman, Jagadish and Leonard, Shane and Paepcke, Andreas (2015) YouEDU: Addressing Confusion in MOOC Discussion Forums by Recommending Instructional Video Clips. In: National Science Foundation.


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In Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), struggling learners often seek help by posting questions in discussion forums. Unfortunately, given the large volume of discussion in MOOCs, instructors may overlook these learners' posts, detrimentally impacting the learning process and exacerbating attrition. In this paper, we present YouEDU, an instructional aid that automatically detects and addresses confusion in forum posts. Leveraging our Stanford MOOCPosts corpus, we train a heterogeneous set of classifiers to classify forum posts across multiple dimensions. In particular, classifiers that target sentiment, urgency, and other descriptive variables inform a single classifier that detects confusion. We then employ information retrieval techniques to map confused posts to minute-resolution clips from course videos; the ranking over these clips accounts for textual similarity between posts and closed captions. We measure the performance of our classification model in multiple educational contexts, exploring the nature of confusion within each; we also evaluate the relevancy of materials returned by our ranking algorithm. Experimental results demonstrate that YouEDU achieves both its goals, paving the way for intelligent intervention systems in MOOC discussion forums.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:MOOC, video recommendation, online teaching, machine learning
Projects:Digital Libraries
ID Code:1125
Deposited By:Andreas Paepcke
Deposited On:16 Feb 2015 11:21
Last Modified:16 Feb 2015 11:21

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