Computer Graphics Laboratory ETH Zurich

ETH

Different parameters - same prediction: An analysis of learning curves

T. Käser, K. R. Koedinger, M. Gross

Proceedings of EDM (London, UK, July 4-7, 2014), pp. 52-59
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Abstract

Using data from student use of educational technologies to evaluate and improve cognitive models of learners is now a common approach in EDM. Such naturally occurring data poses modeling challenges when non-random factors drive what data is collected. Prior work began to explore the potential parameter estimate biases that may result from data from tutoring systems that employ a mastery learning mechanism whereby poorer students get assigned tasks that better students do not. We extend that work both by exploring a wider set of modeling techniques and by using a data set with additional observations of longer-term retention that provide a check on whether judged mastery is maintained. The data set at hand contains math learning data from children with and without developmental dyscalculia. We test variations on logistic regression, including the Additive Factors Model and others explicitly designed to adjust for mastery-based data, as well as Bayesian Knowledge Tracing (BKT). We find these models produce similar prediction accuracy (though BKT is worse), but have different parameter estimation patterns. We discuss implications for use and interpretation of these different models.

@inproceedings{kae14c,
author = {T. K{\"a}ser and K. R. Koedinger and M. Gross},
title = {{Different parameters - same prediction: An analysis of learning curves}},
booktitle = {Proceedings of EDM},
year = {2014},
pages = {52-59},
}
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Overview

Modeling student knowledge is a fundamental task when working with intelligent tutoring systems. The selection of tasks and actions is based on the student model, therefore an accurate prediction of student knowledge is essential. The accuracy of the student model depends on the quality of the parameter fit. Parameter fitting is, however, not only important for prediction accuracy; the parameters of a model also contain information on how students learn. Prior work began to explore the potential parameter estimate biases that may result from data from tutoring systems that employ a mastery learning mechanism whereby poorer students get assigned tasks that better students do not.

In this work, we extend this work by evaluating the properties and parameters of different logistic regression models when fitting learning curves to a mastery learning data set containing students with heterogeneous knowledge levels. We test variations on logistic regression, including the Additive Factors Model and others explicitly designed to adjust for mastery-based data, as well as Bayesian Knowledge Tracing (BKT).

Results

We evaluate our approach on real data experiments. The data set at hand was collected from an intelligent tutoring system for learning mathematics and includes log files from 64 children with developmental dyscalculia and 70 control children.

Our findings show that similar regression models predict very different amounts of learning for the same data. Furthermore, we demonstrate that different parameter fits lead to the same prediction accuracy on unseen data. For further validation, we compare prediction accuracy of logistic regression models to that of BKT and analyze how well these models generalize to new students. Our results demonstrate that logistic regression models outperform BKT regarding prediction accuracy on unseen data.

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