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Network models for mapping educational data

  • Karen E. Willcox (a1) and Luwen Huang (a1)

Educational mapping is the process of analyzing an educational system to identify entities, relationships and attributes. This paper proposes a network modeling approach to educational mapping. Current mapping processes in education typically represent data in forms that do not support scalable learning analytics. For example, a curriculum map is usually a table, where relationships among curricular elements are represented implicitly in the rows of the table. The proposed network modeling approach overcomes this limitation through explicit modeling of these relationships in a graph structure, which in turn unlocks the ability to perform scalable analyses on the dataset. The paper presents network models for educational use cases, with concrete examples in curriculum mapping, accreditation mapping and concept mapping. Illustrative examples demonstrate how the formal modeling approach enables visualization and learning analytics. The analysis provides insight into learning pathways, supporting design of adaptive learning systems. It also permits gap analysis of curriculum coverage, supporting student advising, student degree planning and curricular design at scales ranging from an entire institution to an individual course.

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