Towards a General Pre-training Framework for Adaptive Learning in MOOCs


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Adaptive learning aims to stimulate and meet the needs of individual learners, which requires sophisticated system-level coordination of diverse tasks, including modeling learning resources, estimating student states, and making personalized recommendations. Existing deep learning methods have achieved great success over statistical models; however, they still lack generalization for diverse tasks and suffer from insufficient capacity since they are composed of highly-coupled task-specific architectures and rely on small-scale, coarse-grained recommendation scenarios. To realize the idea of general adaptive systems proposed in pedagogical theory, with the emerging pre-training techniques in NLP, we try to conduct a practical exploration on applying pre-training to adaptive learning, to propose a unified framework based on data observation and learning style analysis, properly leveraging heterogeneous learning elements. Through a series of downstream tasks of Learning Recommendation, Learning Resource Evaluation, Knowledge Tracing, and Dropout Prediction, we find that course structures, text, and knowledge are helpful for modeling and inherently coherent to student non-sequential learning behaviors and that indirectly relevant information included in the pre-training foundation can be shared across downstream tasks to facilitate effectiveness. We finally build a simplified systematic application of adaptive learning and reflect on the insights brought back to pedagogy. The source code and dataset will be released.
adaptive learning,pre-training
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