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  1. The use of Bayesian Knowledge Tracing (BKT) models in predicting student learning and mastery, especially in mathematics, is a well-established and proven approach in learning analytics. In this work, we report on our analysis examining the generalizability of BKT models across academic years attributed to "detector rot." We compare the generalizability of Knowledge Training (KT) models by comparing model performance in predicting student knowledge within the academic year and across academic years. Models were trained on data from two popular open-source curricula available through Open Educational Resources. We observed that the models generally were highly performant in predicting student learning within an academic year, whereas certain academic years were more generalizable than other academic years. We posit that the Knowledge Tracing models are relatively stable in terms of performance across academic years yet can still be susceptible to systemic changes and underlying learner behavior. As indicated by the evidence in this paper, we posit that learning platforms leveraging KT models need to be mindful of systemic changes or drastic changes in certain user demographics. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 5, 2024
  2. The use of Bayesian Knowledge Tracing (BKT) models in predicting student learning and mastery, especially in mathematics, is a well-established and proven approach in learning analytics. In this work, we report on our analysis examining the generalizability of BKT models across academic years attributed to ”detector rot.” We compare the generalizability of Knowledge Training (KT) models by comparing model performance in predicting student knowledge within the academic year and across academic years. Models were trained on data from two popular open-source curricula available through Open Educational Resources. We observed that the models generally were highly performant in predicting student learning within an academic year, whereas certain academic years were more generalizable than other academic years. We posit that the Knowledge Tracing models are relatively stable in terms of performance across academic years yet can still be susceptible to systemic changes and underlying learner behavior. As indicated by the evidence in this paper, we posit that learning platforms leveraging KT models need to be mindful of systemic changes or drastic changes in certain user demographics. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  3. The use of Bayesian Knowledge Tracing (BKT) models in predicting student learning and mastery, especially in mathematics, is a well-established and proven approach in learning analytics. In this work, we report on our analysis examining the generalizability of BKT models across academic years attributed to ”detector rot.” We compare the generalizability of Knowledge Training (KT) models by comparing model performance in predicting student knowledge within the academic year and across academic years. Models were trained on data from two popular open-source curricula available through Open Educational Resources. We observed that the models generally were highly performant in predicting student learning within an academic year, whereas certain academic years were more generalizable than other academic years. We posit that the Knowledge Tracing models are relatively stable in terms of performance across academic years yet can still be susceptible to systemic changes and underlying learner behavior. As indicated by the evidence in this paper, we posit that learning platforms leveraging KT models need to be mindful of systemic changes or drastic changes in certain user demographics. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  4. Teachers often rely on the use of a range of open-ended problems to assess students’ understanding of mathematical concepts. Beyond traditional conceptions of student openended work, commonly in the form of textual short-answer or essay responses, the use of figures, tables, number lines, graphs, and pictographs are other examples of open-ended work common in mathematics. While recent developments in areas of natural language processing and machine learning have led to automated methods to score student open-ended work, these methods have largely been limited to textual answers. Several computer-based learning systems allow students to take pictures of hand-written work and include such images within their answers to open-ended questions. With that, however, there are few-to-no existing solutions that support the auto-scoring of student hand-written or drawn answers to questions. In this work, we build upon an existing method for auto-scoring textual student answers and explore the use of OpenAI/CLIP, a deep learning embedding method designed to represent both images and text, as well as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to improve model performance. We evaluate the performance of our method on a dataset of student open-responses that contains both text- and image-based responses, and find a reduction of model error in the presence of images when controlling for other answer-level features. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 5, 2024
  5. Teachers often rely on the use of a range of open-ended problems to assess students' understanding of mathematical concepts. Beyond traditional conceptions of student open-ended work, commonly in the form of textual short-answer or essay responses, the use of figures, tables, number lines, graphs, and pictographs are other examples of open-ended work common in mathematics. While recent developments in areas of natural language processing and machine learning have led to automated methods to score student open-ended work, these methods have largely been limited to textual answers. Several computer-based learning systems allow students to take pictures of hand-written work and include such images within their answers to open-ended questions. With that, however, there are few-to-no existing solutions that support the auto-scoring of student hand-written or drawn answers to questions. In this work, we build upon an existing method for auto-scoring textual student answers and explore the use of OpenAI/CLIP, a deep learning embedding method designed to represent both images and text, as well as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to improve model performance. We evaluate the performance of our method on a dataset of student open-responses that contains both text- and image-based responses, and find a reduction of model error in the presence of images when controlling for other answer-level features. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 5, 2024
  6. Feedback is a crucial factor in mathematics learning and instruction. Whether expressed as indicators of correctness or textual comments, feedback can help guide students’ understanding of content. Beyond this, however, teacher-written messages and comments can provide motivational and affective benefits for students. The question emerges as to what constitutes effective feedback to promote not only student learning but also motivation and engagement. Teachers may have different perceptions of what constitutes effective feedback utilizing different tones in their writing to communicate their sentiment while assessing student work. This study aims to investigate trends in teacher sentiment and tone when providing feedback to students in a middle school mathematics class context. Toward this, we examine the applicability of state-of-the-art sentiment analysis methods in a mathematics context and explore the use of punctuation marks in teacher feedback messages as a measure of tone. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  7. Teachers often rely on the use of a range of open-ended problems to assess students’ understanding of mathematical concepts. Beyond traditional conceptions of student open- ended work, commonly in the form of textual short-answer or essay responses, the use of figures, tables, number lines, graphs, and pictographs are other examples of open-ended work common in mathematics. While recent developments in areas of natural language processing and machine learning have led to automated methods to score student open-ended work, these methods have largely been limited to textual an- swers. Several computer-based learning systems allow stu- dents to take pictures of hand-written work and include such images within their answers to open-ended questions. With that, however, there are few-to-no existing solutions that support the auto-scoring of student hand-written or drawn answers to questions. In this work, we build upon an ex- isting method for auto-scoring textual student answers and explore the use of OpenAI/CLIP, a deep learning embedding method designed to represent both images and text, as well as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to improve model performance. We evaluate the performance of our method on a dataset of student open-responses that contains both text- and image-based responses, and find a reduction of model error in the presence of images when controlling for other answer-level features. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  8. Feedback is a crucial factor in mathematics learning and instruction. Whether expressed as indicators of correctness or textual comments, feedback can help guide students’ understanding of content. Beyond this, however, teacher-written messages and comments can provide motivational and affective benefits for students. The question emerges as to what constitutes effective feedback to promote not only student learning but also motivation and engagement. Teachers may have different perceptions of what constitutes effective feedback utilizing different tones in their writing to communicate their sentiment while assessing student work. This study aims to investigate trends in teacher sentiment and tone when providing feedback to students in a middle school mathematics class context. Toward this, we examine the applicability of state-of-the-art sentiment analysis methods in a mathematics context and explore the use of punctuation marks in teacher feedback messages as a measure of tone. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 30, 2024
  9. This paper demonstrated how to apply Machine Learning (ML) techniques to analyze student interaction data collected in an online mathematics game. Using a data-driven approach, we examined 1) how different ML algorithms influenced the precision of middle-school students’ (N = 359) performance (i.e. posttest math knowledge scores) prediction and 2) what types of in-game features (i.e. student in-game behaviors, math anxiety, mathematical strategies) were associated with student math knowledge scores. The results indicated that the Random Forest algorithm showed the best performance (i.e. the accuracy of models, error measures) in predicting posttest math knowledge scores among the seven algorithms employed. Out of 37 features included in the model, the validity of the students’ first mathematical transformation was the most predictive of their posttest math knowledge scores. Implications for game learning analytics and supporting students’ algebraic learning are discussed based on the findings. 
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  10. Solving mathematical problems is cognitively complex, involving strategy formulation, solution development, and the application of learned concepts. However, gaps in students’ knowledge or weakly grasped concepts can lead to errors. Teachers play a crucial role in predicting and addressing these difficulties, which directly influence learning outcomes. However, preemptively identifying misconcep- tions leading to errors can be challenging. This study leverages historical data to assist teachers in recognizing common errors and addressing gaps in knowledge through feedback. We present a longitudinal analysis of incorrect answers from the 2015-2020 aca- demic years on two curricula, Illustrative Math and EngageNY, for grades 6, 7, and 8. We find consistent errors across 5 years despite varying student and teacher populations. Based on these Common Wrong Answers (CWAs), we designed a crowdsourcing platform for teachers to provide Common Wrong Answer Feedback (CWAF). This paper reports on an in vivo randomized study testing the ef- fectiveness of CWAFs in two scenarios: next-problem-correctness within-skill and next-problem-correctness within-assignment, re- gardless of the skill. We find that receiving CWAF leads to a signifi- cant increase in correctness for consecutive problems within-skill. However, the effect was not significant for all consecutive problems within-assignment, irrespective of the associated skill. This paper investigates the potential of scalable approaches in identifying Com- mon Wrong Answers (CWAs) and how the use of crowdsourced CWAFs can enhance student learning through remediation. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024