An application framework for mining online learning processes through event-logs
Purpose Learning management systems (LMS) provide detailed information about the processes through event-logs. Process and related data-mining approaches can reveal valuable information from these files to help teachers and executives to monitor and manage their online learning processes. In this regard, the purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the current direction of the literature on educational data mining, and an application framework to analyze the educational data provided by the Moodle LMS. Design/methodology/approach The paper presents a framework to provide a decision support through the approaches existing in process and data-mining fields for analyzing the event-log data gathered from LMS platforms. In this framework, latent class analysis (LCA) and sequential pattern mining approaches were used to understand the general patterns; heuristic and fuzzy approaches were performed for process mining to obtain the workflows and statistics; finally, social-network analysis was conducted to discover the collaborations. Findings The analyses conducted in the study give clues for the process performance of the course during a semester by indicating exceptional situations, clarifying the activity flows, understanding the main process flow and revealing the students’ interactions. Findings also show that using the preliminary data analyses before process mining steps is also beneficial to understand the general pattern and expose the irregular ones. Originality/value The study highlights the benefits of analyzing event-log files of LMSs to improve the quality of online educational processes through a case study based on Moodle event-logs. The application framework covers preliminary analyses such as LCA before the use of process mining algorithms to reveal the exceptional situations.