Predicting Student Performance from Combined Data Sources

  • Annika WolffEmail author
  • Zdenek Zdrahal
  • Drahomira Herrmannova
  • Petr Knoth
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 524)


This chapter will explore the use of predictive modeling methods for identifying students who will benefit most from tutor interventions. This is a growing area of research and is especially useful in distance learning where tutors and students do not meet face to face. The methods discussed will include decision-tree classification, support vector machine (SVM), general unary hypotheses automaton (GUHA), Bayesian networks, and linear and logistic regression. These methods have been trialed through building and testing predictive models using data from several Open University (OU) modules. The Open University offers a good test-bed for this work, as it is one of the largest distance learning institutions in Europe. The chapter will discuss how the predictive capacity of the different sources of data changes as the course progresses. It will also highlight the importance of understanding how a student’s pattern of behavior changes during the course.


Predictive modeling Education Virtual learning environment Student outcome 



Analysis of variance


Course management system


Course signals


General unary hypotheses automaton


Massive open online course


Open university


Support vector machine


Tutor marked assessment


Virtual learning environment



We would like to acknowledge the help and support of JISC and the contribution from Microsoft Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annika Wolff
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zdenek Zdrahal
    • 1
  • Drahomira Herrmannova
    • 1
  • Petr Knoth
    • 1
  1. 1.Knowledge Media InstituteThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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