Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Spotting student dropouts

27.01.2009
A new way to predict which students will dropout of a distance learning or online course has been developed by researchers in Greece. The researchers explain details in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Knowledge Engineering and Soft Data Paradigms.

Sotiris Kotsiantis of the Educational Software Development Laboratory at the University of Patras, Greece, explains how student dropout rates are much higher for universities providing distance education compared with conventional education.

Ensuring the dropout rate is as low as possible is a matter of economic viability for a given course and for the reputation of the university offering distance learning. However, predicting which students will dropout is not easy.

Data on students, class distributions, and dropout rates are usually rather skew, Kotsiantis says. This skewing of the statistics makes for low error rates in predicting overall class outcomes but produces unacceptable error rates when one is considering the minority of class members or individuals. He and his colleagues have carried out a systematic study of the various analytical methods that have been tried to overcome this limitation and found them all wanting.

The most obvious problem with analysing skewed data sets is that most approaches remover the "outliers" and focus on the average. But, it's the outliers at one end of the data who are the most likely to dropout.

As such, the team has devised a new statistical approach that offers a more effective solution to the problem by looking at the data at the local level where outliers become more prominent in the data set rather than being ignored by the law of averages. They tested their approach on retrospective student data from the Hellenic Open University and were able to effectively spot the student dropouts.

The method could allow universities offering distance learning the chance to predict which students are most likely to dropout of a course and so allow them to provide appropriate counselling, advice, and support to guide such students to a more informed decision regarding their educational future.

"It is of great importance for tutors to have recognised dropout-prone students before the middle of the period in order to be able to offer additional support to those students at risk," Kotsiantis says. The new predictive approach therefore focuses on collecting data about student successes and failures before this point in their course is reached. This data is combined with known socioeconomic factors, gender, age, previous education, marital status, and occupation if applicable.

Albert Ang | alfa
Further information:
http://www.inderscience.com

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Classroom in Stuttgart with Li-Fi of Fraunhofer HHI opened
03.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

nachricht Starting school boosts development
11.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>