Purdue University Graduate School
Arjun_Thesis_120721.pdf (8.8 MB)

An experimental study of the effects of a bayesian knowledge tracing model on student perceived engagement

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posted on 2021-12-20, 14:02 authored by Arjun Kramadhati GopiArjun Kramadhati Gopi
With the advent of Machine Learning and Deep Learning models, many avenues of development have opened. Today, these technologies are being leveraged to perform a wide variety of tasks that were otherwise not possible with traditional systems. The power of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence makes it possible to compute very complicated tasks at near real-time speeds. To provide an example, Machine Learning models are used extensively in the retail industry to predict and analyze critical parameters such as sales, promotions, customer behavior, recommendations, and offers.

Today, it is increasingly common to observe AI being used across many of the biggest domains such as Health, Environment, Military, and Business. Artificial Intelligence being used in educational settings has thus been a growing field of focus and study. For example, conversational AI being deployed to act as virtual tutors to answer student questions and concerns. Additionally, there is a fill-the-hole type of AIs that will help students learn tasks such as coding by either showing them how to do it or by predicting where the student might go wrong and suggesting preemptive corrective steps.

As described, a great deal of literature exists about the use of Deep Learning and Machine Learning models in education. However, the existing tools and models act as external appendages that add to the course structure, thereby altering it. This proposed study introduces a Bayesian Knowledge Transfer model based on the Long Short Term Memory structure (BKT-LSTM) utilized in a live STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) classroom. The model discovers individual student learning profiles based on past quiz performance and customizes future quizzes based on the learned patterns. The BKT-LSTM model works in tandem with the existing course curriculum and only tests those knowledge items that have already been covered in the classroom. The model does not change the course structure but rather aims to improve the student’s learning experience by focusing on areas of the student's knowledge that require more practice in learning.

Within a live STEM classroom, the BKT-LSTM model acts as a herald of change in the way students interact with the curriculum, even though no major changes are observed in the course structure. Students interacting with the model are subjected to quizzes with questions that target the individual student’s lack of learning in particular knowledge areas. Thus, students can be expected to perceive the change as unwelcoming due to the increasing difficulty in subsequent quizzes. Regardless, the study focuses on measuring the learning performance of the students. Do the students learn more in the new system? Another focus of the study is the student’s perception of engagement while interacting with the BKT-LSTM model. The effectiveness of the new educational process is determined not only by increased student learning performance, but also by the student’s perception of engagement while interacting with the model. Are the students enjoying the new experience? Do the students feel like they are learning something? Another important factor was also studied, that is learning performance of students interacting with the BKT-LSTM.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Computer and Information Technology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dominic Kao

Additional Committee Member 2

Alejandra J Magana

Additional Committee Member 3

Baijian Yang

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