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ERIC Number: ED596594
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jun
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Learner Affect through the Looking Glass: Characterization and Detection of Confusion in Online Courses
Zeng, Ziheng; Chaturvedi, Snigdha; Bhat, Suma
International Educational Data Mining Society, Paper presented at the International Conference on Educational Data Mining (EDM) (10th, Wuhan, China, Jun 25-28, 2017)
Characterizing the nature of students' affective and emotional states and detecting them is of fundamental importance in online course platforms. In this paper, we study this problem by using discussion forum posts derived from large open online courses. We find that posts identified as encoding confusion are actually manifestations of different learner affects pertaining to their informational needs--primarily seeking factual answers. We quantitatively demonstrate that the use of content-related linguistic features and community-related features derived from a post serve as reliable detectors of confusion while widely "outperforming" currently available algorithms of confusion detection. We also point out that several prediction tasks in this domain (e.g., confusion and urgency detection) can be correlated, and that a model trained for one task can effectively be used for making predictions on the other task without requiring labeled examples. Finally, we highlight a very significant problem of adapting the classifier to unseen courses. [For the full proceedings, see ED596512.]
International Educational Data Mining Society. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California