Toward a Framework for Learner Segmentation



Published Nov 19, 2013
Bahareh Azarnoush Jennifer M. Bekki George C. Runger Bianca L. Bernstein Robert K. Atkinson


Effectively grouping learners in an online environment is a highly useful task. However, datasets used in this task often have large numbers of attributes of disparate types and different scales, which traditional clustering approaches cannot handle effectively. Here, a unique dissimilarity measure based on the random forest, which handles the stated drawbacks of more traditional clustering approaches, is presented. Additionally, arule-based method is proposed for interpreting the resulting learner segmentations. The approach was implemented on a real dataset of users of the CareerWISE online educational environment, designed to provide resilience training for women STEM doctoral students, and wasshown to find stable and meaningful groups of users.

How to Cite

Azarnoush, B., Bekki, J. M., Runger, G. C., Bernstein, B. L., & Atkinson, R. K. (2013). Toward a Framework for Learner Segmentation. JEDM | Journal of Educational Data Mining, 5(2), 102-126. Retrieved from
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