Recently, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have become a major online learning methodology for millions of people worldwide. However, the dropout rates from several current MOOCs are high. Usually, dropout prediction aims to predict whether a learner will exhibit learning behaviors during several consecutive days in the future. Therefore, the information related to the learning behaviors of a learner in several consecutive days should be considered. After in-depth analysis of the learning behavior patterns of the MOOC learners, this study reports that learners often exhibit similar learning behaviors on several consecutive days, i.e., the learning status of a learner for the subsequent day is likely to be similar to that for the previous day. Based on this characteristic of MOOC learning, this study proposes a new simple feature matrix for keeping information related to the local correlation of learning behaviors and a new Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) model for predicting the dropout. Extensive experimental validations illustrate that the local correlation of learning behaviors should not be neglected. The proposed CNN model considers this characteristic and improves the dropout prediction accuracy. Furthermore, the proposed model can be used to predict dropout temporally and early when sufficient data are collected.
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