Learning style Identifier: Improving the precision of learning style identification through computational intelligence algorithms

Jason Bernard, Ting Wen Chang, Elvira Popescu, Sabine Graf

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Identifying students’ learning styles has several benefits such as making students aware of their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning and the possibility to personalize their learning environment to their learning styles. While there exist learning style questionnaires for identifying a student's learning style, such questionnaires have several disadvantages and therefore, research has been conducted on automatically identifying learning styles from students’ behavior in a learning environment. Current approaches to automatically identify learning styles have an average precision between 66% and 77%, which shows the need for improvements in order to use such automatic approaches reliably in learning environments. In this paper, four computational intelligence algorithms (artificial neural network, genetic algorithm, ant colony system and particle swarm optimization) have been investigated with respect to their potential to improve the precision of automatic learning style identification. Each algorithm was evaluated with data from 75 students. The artificial neural network shows the most promising results with an average precision of 80.7%, followed by particle swarm optimization with an average precision of 79.1%. Improving the precision of automatic learning style identification allows more students to benefit from more accurate information about their learning styles as well as more accurate personalization towards accommodating their learning styles in a learning environment. Furthermore, teachers can have a better understanding of their students and be able to provide more appropriate interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-108
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Volume75
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun. 2017

Keywords

  • Computational intelligence
  • Distance education and telelearning
  • Intelligent tutoring systems
  • Interactive learning environments

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