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

nachricht New Master’s programme: University of Kaiserslautern educates experts in quantum technology
15.03.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>