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Exploring the Colombian digital divide using Moodle logs through supervised learning

Sergio Duban Morales Dussan (Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogota, Colombia)
Mauricio Leon (Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogota, Colombia)
Olmer Garcia-Bedoya (Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogota, Colombia)
Ixent Galpin (Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogota, Colombia)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Article publication date: 22 July 2021

Issue publication date: 18 August 2022

131

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the digital divide between students living in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas in the Antioquia region of Colombia. This is achieved by collecting data about student interactions from the Moodle learning management system (LMS), and subsequently applying supervised machine learning models to infer the gap between students in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas.

Design/methodology/approach

This work uses the well-established Cross-Industry Standard Process for Data Mining methodology, which comprises six phases, viz., problem understanding, data understanding, data preparation, modelling, evaluation and implementation. In this case, student data was collected from the Moodle platform from the Antioquia campus of the UNAD distance learning university.

Findings

The digital divide is evident in the classification model when observing differences in variables such as the number of accesses to the LMS, the total time spent and the number of distinct IP addresses used, as well as the number of system modification events.

Originality/value

This study provides conclusions regarding the problems students in virtual education may face as a result of the digital divide in Colombia which have become increasingly visible since the implementation of machine learning methodologies on LMS such as Moodle. However, these practices may be replicated in any virtual educational context and furthermore be extended to enable personalisation of various aspects of the Moodle platform to meet the individual needs of students.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This project received financial support from Minciencias from Call for Research Proposals 804-2018, Project Grant 115680463846. We are grateful to the Universidad Abierta y a Distancia (UNAD) for providing the dataset we used for this work.

Citation

Morales Dussan, S.D., Leon, M., Garcia-Bedoya, O. and Galpin, I. (2022), "Exploring the Colombian digital divide using Moodle logs through supervised learning", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 281-299. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITSE-03-2021-0052

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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