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Interest mining in virtual learning environments

Rong Gu (College of Computer Science and Technology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Miaoliang Zhu (College of Computer Science and Technology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Liying Zhao (College of Educational Science and Technology, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, China)
Ningning Zhang (College of Educational Science and Technology, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, China)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 11 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

Behaviour in virtual learning environments (VLE), including travel, gaze, manipulate, gesture and conversation, offer considerable information about the user's implicit interest. The purpose of this study is to find an approach for user interest mining via behaviour analysis in a VLE.

Design/methodology/approach

According to research in psychology, any interaction in a VLE has implications for the user's implicit interest. In order to mine a user's implicit interest, an explicit interaction‐interest model needs to be established. This paper presents findings from the concept classification of behaviour in a VLE. Based on this classification, the paper proposes a hierarchical interaction model. In this model the relation between interaction and user interest can be described and used to improve system performance.

Findings

In the experimental prototype the authors found that user‐implicit interest could be mined via stages of web mining, i.e. capture the user's original gesture signal, data pre‐process, pattern discovery, interaction goal and interest mining. The mined user's interest information can be used to update the state of local interest, leading to a reduction in network traffic and promotion of better system performance.

Originality/value

This is an original study using behaviour analysis for interest mining in e‐learning. Research on interest mining in e‐learning focused on content mining or search engine and usage mining in web courses. The paper provides valuable clues regarding user interest mining in a VLE, in which the context is different from usual web courses. The research output can be implemented widely, including online learning, and especially in the VLE.

Keywords

Citation

Gu, R., Zhu, M., Zhao, L. and Zhang, N. (2008), "Interest mining in virtual learning environments", Online Information Review, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 133-146. https://doi.org/10.1108/14684520810879782

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited