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An application framework for mining online learning processes through event-logs

Güzin Özdağoğlu (Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Business, Dokuz Eylul University, Buca, Turkey)
Gülin Zeynep Öztaş (Department of Business Management, Pamukkale Universitesi, Denizli, Turkey)
Mehmet Çağliyangil (Department of Business Administration, Dokuz Eylul University, Buca, Turkey)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 31 October 2018

Issue publication date: 19 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Learning management systems (LMS) provide detailed information about the processes through event-logs. Process and related data-mining approaches can reveal valuable information from these files to help teachers and executives to monitor and manage their online learning processes. In this regard, the purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the current direction of the literature on educational data mining, and an application framework to analyze the educational data provided by the Moodle LMS.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a framework to provide a decision support through the approaches existing in process and data-mining fields for analyzing the event-log data gathered from LMS platforms. In this framework, latent class analysis (LCA) and sequential pattern mining approaches were used to understand the general patterns; heuristic and fuzzy approaches were performed for process mining to obtain the workflows and statistics; finally, social-network analysis was conducted to discover the collaborations.

Findings

The analyses conducted in the study give clues for the process performance of the course during a semester by indicating exceptional situations, clarifying the activity flows, understanding the main process flow and revealing the students’ interactions. Findings also show that using the preliminary data analyses before process mining steps is also beneficial to understand the general pattern and expose the irregular ones.

Originality/value

The study highlights the benefits of analyzing event-log files of LMSs to improve the quality of online educational processes through a case study based on Moodle event-logs. The application framework covers preliminary analyses such as LCA before the use of process mining algorithms to reveal the exceptional situations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors. The authors would like to thank Dr Sabri Erdem and Research Assistant Ayhan Fuat Celik for their valuable contribution to our study by sharing the Moodle log file of the course they manage.

Citation

Özdağoğlu, G., Öztaş, G.Z. and Çağliyangil, M. (2019), "An application framework for mining online learning processes through event-logs", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 860-886. https://doi.org/10.1108/BPMJ-10-2017-0279

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited