Learning Student Interest Trajectory for MOOC Thread Recommendation

Shalini Pandey, Andrew Lan, George Karypis, Jaideep Srivastava

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


In recent years, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have witnessed immense growth in popularity. Now, due to the recent Covid19 pandemic situation, it is important to push the limits of online education. Discussion forums are primary means of interaction among learners and instructors. However, with growing class size, students face the challenge of finding useful and informative discussion forums. This problem can be solved by matching the interest of students with thread contents. The fundamental challenge is that the student interests drift as they progress through the course, and forum contents evolve as students or instructors update them. In our paper, we propose to predict future interest trajectories of students. Our model consists of two key operations: 1) Update operation and 2) Projection operation. Update operation models the inter-dependency between the evolution of student and thread using coupled Recurrent Neural Networks when the student posts on the thread. The projection operation learns to estimate future embedding of students and threads. For students, the projection operation learns the drift in their interests caused by the change in the course topic they study. The projection operation for threads exploits how different posts induce varying interest levels in a student according to the thread structure. Extensive experimentation on three real-world MOOC datasets shows that our model significantly outperforms other baselines for thread recommendation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 20th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, ICDMW 2020
EditorsGiuseppe Di Fatta, Victor Sheng, Alfredo Cuzzocrea, Carlo Zaniolo, Xindong Wu
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781728190129
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Event20th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, ICDMW 2020 - Virtual, Sorrento, Italy
Duration: Nov 17 2020Nov 20 2020

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, ICDMW
ISSN (Print)2375-9232
ISSN (Electronic)2375-9259


Conference20th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, ICDMW 2020
CityVirtual, Sorrento

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 IEEE.


  • MOOCs
  • Personalized learning
  • Recommender Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Learning Student Interest Trajectory for MOOC Thread Recommendation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this