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AI can predict students’ educational outcomes based on tweets

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NEW DELHI: Dear parents, please note. You may not need to ask teachers how your kid is performing in studies as his or her tweets will be enough to gauge whether he or she will make it big in the future or not, thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI).

A team of Russian researchers has used AI-based models to predict high academic achievers from lower ones based on their social media posts.

The prediction model uses a mathematical textual analysis that registers users’ vocabulary (its range and the semantic fields from which concepts are taken), characters and symbols, post length and word length.

Every word has its own rating (a kind of IQ). Scientific and cultural topics, English words, and words and posts that are longer in length rank highly and serve as indicators of good academic performance.

An abundance of emojis, words or whole phrases written in capital letters, and vocabulary related to horoscopes, driving and military service indicate lower grades in school.

“At the same time, posts can be quite short — even tweets are quite informative,” said Ivan Smirnov, leading research fellow at the Institute of Education of Higher School of Economics University in Moscow.

The study traces the career paths of 4,400 students in 42 Russian regions.

“Since this kind of data, in combination with digital traces, is difficult to obtain, it is almost never used,” Smirnov said.

This kind of dataset allows you to develop a reliable model that can be applied to other settings.

“And the results can be extrapolated to all other students — high school students and middle school students,” Smirnov said in a paper published in the journal EPJ Data Science.

The researchers said that it is important that the model worked successfully on datasets of different social media sites, such as VK (a Russian online social media and social networking service) and Twitter, thereby proving that it can be effective in different contexts.

In addition, the model can be used to predict very different characteristics, from student academic performance to income or depression.

The study data included data about the students’ VK accounts (3,483 students consented to provide this information).

In the study, unsupervised machine learning with word vector representations was performed on VK post corpus (totaling 1.9 billion words, with 2.5 million unique words).

It was then combined with a simpler supervised machine learning model that was trained in individual positions and taught to predict PISA (Programme for International Students Assessment) scores.

Posts from publicly viewable VK pages were used as a training sample — this included a total of 130,575 posts from 2,468 subjects who took the PISA test.

The test allowed the researcher to assess a student’s academic aptitude as well as their ability to apply their knowledge in practice, the authors wrote.



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Education

KITE CEO appointed NCERT advisory board member

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THIRUVANANTHAPURM: K Anwar Sadat, Chief Executive Officer of Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE), the state’s nodal agency for Information and communication technology in state’s schools, has been appointed member of the NCERT Advisory Board.

The NationalCouncil for Education Research and Training (NCERT) is the apex body in school education under the Union Education Ministry.

According to a communicationfrom NCERT, Anwar has been selected to the Institute of Advisory Board (IAB)of Central Institute of Educational Technology, New Delhi, for a period of three years on the basis of his experience and expertise in the educational technology sector, a press release said.

The board primarily reviews and recommends the proposals from various states.

Besides Anwar, the other board members include experts from ISRO, IGNOU and UGC.



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Education

Osmania University warns colleges on affiliation fees, common services fees

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HYDERABAD: Osmania University (OU) has warned college managements offering MBA/MCA programmes on dues pertaining to affiliation fees and common service fees.

Despite repeated reminders, many colleges have not cleared the dues. In a letter issued to all the college managements, the university has now asked them to submit an undertaking by December 2 as a one-time measure, failing which they will not be considered for integrated common entrance test-2020 counselling and extension of affiliation for 2020-21.

“A letter has been submitted to the university that they will give an undertaking to the effect that dues, to the extent possible, be collected directly from the TSCHE (Telangana State Council of Higher Education) from the fees paid by the candidates at the time of counselling/admissions,” read the letter.

The college managements have to sign an undertaking which states that they don’t have any objection for the TSCHE to deduct the equivalent to the dues or the extent possible towards the affiliation fee, common services fee etc. including earlier dues from the tuition fee that will be collected from the students during the academic year 2020-21.



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Education

Help students overcome fear of maths, science: Guv to teachers

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MUMBAI: Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari on Sunday advised teachers to reach out to students who do not have access to online learning.

Speaking at the inauguration of a webinar titled ‘Score More in Mathematics and Science’, Koshyari cited the example of Eklavya, a character from Mahabharata, who acquired the knowledge of archery with dedication.

The governor said teachers must help students overcome the fear of maths and science.

The webinar was organised by Supermind Foundation in which former BJP MLA Medha Kulkarni is a director.



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