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
The classroom of tomorrow – DFKI and TUK open lab for new digital teaching and learning methods
03.05.2018 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Studying outdoors is better
06.02.2018 | Technische Universität München
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy