Learning Concept Graphs from Online Educational Data

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This paper addresses an open challenge in educational data mining, i.e., the problem of automatically mapping online courses from different providers (universities, MOOCs, etc.) onto a universal space of concepts, and predicting latent prerequisite dependencies (directed links) among both concepts and courses. We propose a novel approach for inference within and across course-level and concept-level directed graphs. In the training phase, our system projects partially observed course-level prerequisite links onto directed concept-level links; in the testing phase, the induced concept-level links are used to infer the unknown course-level prerequisite links. Whereas courses may be specific to one institution, concepts are shared across different providers. The bi-directional mappings enable our system to perform interlingua-style transfer learning, e.g. treating the concept graph as the interlingua and transferring the prerequisite relations across universities via the interlingua. Experiments on our newly collected datasets of courses from MIT, Caltech, Princeton and CMU show promising results.

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