Context-Based Personalized Predictors of the Length of Written Responses to Open-Ended Questions of Elementary School Students

  • Roberto ArayaEmail author
  • Abelino Jiménez
  • Carlos Aguirre
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 769)


One of the main goals of elementary school STEM teachers is that their students write their own explanations. However, analyzing answers to question that promotes writing is difficult and time consuming, so a system that supports teachers on this task is desirable. For elementary school students, the extension of the texts, is a basic component of several metrics of the complexity of their answers. In this paper we attempt to develop a set of predictors of the length of written responses to open questions. To do so, we use the history of hundreds elementary school students exposed to open questions posed by teachers on an online STEM platform. We analyze four different context-based personalized predictors. The predictors consider for each student the historical impact on the student answers of a limited number of keywords present on the question. We collected data along a whole year, taking the data of the first semester to train our predictors and evaluate them on the second semester. We found that with a history of as little as 20 questions, a context based personalized predictor beats a baseline predictor.


Written responses to open-ended questions Online STEM platforms Text mining Context based predictors 



Funding from PIA-CONICYT Basal Funds for Centers of Excellence Project FB0003 is gratefully acknowledged and to the Fondef D15I10017 grant from CONICYT.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Araya
    • 1
    Email author
  • Abelino Jiménez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carlos Aguirre
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación Avanzada en Educación, Universidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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