A Learning Analytics Approach Using Social Network Analysis and Binary Classifiers on Virtual Resource Interactions for Learner Performance Prediction
Keywords:social network analysis, machine learning, binary classifiers, supervised and ensemble learning algorithms, virtual resources interactions, learners’ academic performance
The COVID-19 pandemic induced a digital transformation of education and inspired both instructors and learners to adopt and leverage technology for learning. This led to online learning becoming an important component of the new normal, with home-based virtual learning an essential aspect for learners on various levels. This, in turn, has caused learners of varying levels to interact more frequently with virtual resources to supplement their learning. Even though virtual learning environments provide basic resources to help monitor the learners’ online behaviour, there is room for more insights to be derived concerning individual learner performance. In this study, we propose a framework for visualising learners’ online behaviour and use the data obtained to predict whether the learners would clear a course. We explored a variety of binary classifiers from which we achieved an overall accuracy of 80%–85%, thereby indicating the effectiveness of our approach and that learners’ online behaviour had a significant effect on their academic performance. Further analysis showed that common patterns of behaviour among learners and/or anomalies in online behaviour could cause incorrect interpretations of a learner’s performance, which gave us a better understanding of how our approach could be modified in the future.
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