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Using cluster analysis for data mining in educational technology research

Using cluster analysis for data mining in educational technology research Cluster analysis is a group of statistical methods that has great potential for analyzing the vast amounts of web server-log data to understand student learning from hyperlinked information resources. In this methodological paper we provide an introduction to cluster analysis for educational technology researchers and illustrate its use through two examples of mining click-stream server-log data that reflects student use of online learning environments. Cluster analysis can be used to help researchers develop profiles that are grounded in learner activity—like sequence for accessing tasks and information, or time spent engaged in a given activity or examining resources—during a learning session. The examples in this paper illustrate the use of a hierarchical clustering method (Ward’s clustering) and a non-hierarchical clustering method (k-Means clustering) to analyze characteristics of learning behavior while learners engage in a problem-solving activity in an online learning environment. A discussion of advantages and limitations of using cluster analysis as a data mining technique in educational technology research concludes the article. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Educational Technology Research and Development Springer Journals

Using cluster analysis for data mining in educational technology research

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References (40)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by Association for Educational Communications and Technology
Subject
Education; Educational Technology; Learning and Instruction
ISSN
1042-1629
eISSN
1556-6501
DOI
10.1007/s11423-012-9235-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Cluster analysis is a group of statistical methods that has great potential for analyzing the vast amounts of web server-log data to understand student learning from hyperlinked information resources. In this methodological paper we provide an introduction to cluster analysis for educational technology researchers and illustrate its use through two examples of mining click-stream server-log data that reflects student use of online learning environments. Cluster analysis can be used to help researchers develop profiles that are grounded in learner activity—like sequence for accessing tasks and information, or time spent engaged in a given activity or examining resources—during a learning session. The examples in this paper illustrate the use of a hierarchical clustering method (Ward’s clustering) and a non-hierarchical clustering method (k-Means clustering) to analyze characteristics of learning behavior while learners engage in a problem-solving activity in an online learning environment. A discussion of advantages and limitations of using cluster analysis as a data mining technique in educational technology research concludes the article.

Journal

Educational Technology Research and DevelopmentSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 21, 2012

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