The rapid development of learning technologies has enabled online learning paradigm to gain great popularity in both high education and K-12, which makes the prediction of student performance become one of the most popular research topics in education. However, the traditional prediction algorithms are originally designed for balanced dataset, while the educational dataset typically belongs to highly imbalanced dataset, which makes it more difficult to accurately identify the at-risk students. In order to solve this dilemma, this study proposes an integrated framework (LVAEPre) based on latent variational autoencoder (LVAE) with deep neural network (DNN) to alleviate the imbalanced distribution of educational dataset and further to provide early warning of at-risk students. Specifically, with the characteristics of educational data in mind, LVAE mainly aims to learn latent distribution of at-risk students and to generate at-risk samples for the purpose of obtaining a balanced dataset. DNN is to perform final performance prediction. Extensive experiments based on the collected K-12 dataset show that LVAEPre can effectively handle the imbalanced education dataset and provide much better and more stable prediction results than baseline methods in terms of accuracy and F1.5 score. The comparison of t-SNE visualization results further confirms the advantage of LVAE in dealing with imbalanced issue in educational dataset. Finally, through the identification of the significant predictors of LVAEPre in the experimental dataset, some suggestions for designing pedagogical interventions are put forward.
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Du, Xu; Yang, Juan; and Hung, Jui-Long. (2020). "An Integrated Framework Based on Latent Variational Autoencoder for Providing Early Warning of At-Risk Students". IEEE Access, 8, 10110-10122. https://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2020.2964845