Learning to Identify At-Risk Students in Distance Education Using Interaction Counts


  • Douglas Detoni UFPel
  • Cristian Cechinel UFPel
  • Ricardo Araujo Matsumura UFPel
  • Daniela Francisco Brauner EA/UFRGS




Student dropout is one of the main problems faced by distance learning courses. One of the major challenges for researchers is to develop methods to predict the behavior of students so that teachers and tutors are able to identify at-risk students as early as possible and provide assistance before they drop out or fail in their courses. Machine Learning models have been used to predict or classify students in these settings. However, while these models have shown promising results in several settings, they usually attain these results using attributes that are not immediately transferable to other courses or platforms. In this paper, we provide a methodology to classify students using only interaction counts from each student. We evaluate this methodology on a data set from two majors based on the Moodle platform. We run experiments consisting of training and evaluating three machine learning models (Support Vector Machines, Naive Bayes and Adaboost decision trees) under different scenarios. We provide evidences that patterns from interaction counts can provide useful information for classifying at-risk students. This classification allows the customization of the activities presented to at-risk students (automatically or through tutors) as an attempt to avoid students drop out.


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How to Cite

Detoni, D., Cechinel, C., Matsumura, R. A., & Brauner, D. F. (2016). Learning to Identify At-Risk Students in Distance Education Using Interaction Counts. Revista De Informática Teórica E Aplicada, 23(2), 124–140. https://doi.org/10.22456/2175-2745.62211



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