Domain-Aware Grade Prediction and Top-N Course Recommendation

Asmaa Elbadrawy and George Karypis
10th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys), 2016
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Automated course recommendation can help deliver personalized and effective college advising and degree planning. Nearest neighbor and matrix factorization based collaborative filtering approaches have been applied to student-course grade data to help students select suitable courses. How- ever, the student-course enrollment patterns exhibit group- ing structures that are tied to the student and course academic features, which lead to grade data that are not miss- ing at random (NMAR). Existing approaches for dealing with NMAR data, such as Response-aware and context- aware matrix factorization, do not model NMAR data in terms of the user and item features and are not designed with the characteristics of grade data in mind. In this work we investigate how the student and course academic features influence the enrollment patterns and we use these features to define student and course groups at various lev- els of granularity. We show how these groups can be used to design grade prediction and top-n course ranking models for neighborhood-based user collaborative filtering, matrix factorization and popularity-based ranking approaches. These methods give lower grade prediction error and more accurate top-n course rankings than the other methods that do not take domain knowledge into account.
Research topics: Collaborative filtering | Data mining | Learning analytics