Data mining in the classroom: discovering groups’ strategies at a multi-tabletop environment

Roberto Martinez-Maldonado, Kalina Yacef, Judy Kay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Large amounts of data are generated while students interact with computer based learning systems. These data can be analysed through data mining techniques to find patterns or train models that can help tutoring systems or teachers to provide better support. Yet, how can we exploit students’ data when they perform small-group face-to-face activities in the classroom? We propose a novel approach that aims to address this by discovering the strategies followed by students working in small-groups at a multi-tabletop classroom. We apply two data mining techniques, sequence and process mining, to analyse the actions that distinguish groups that needed more coaching from the ones that worked more effectively. To validate our approach we analysed data that was automatically collected from a series of authentic university tutorial classes. The contributions of this paper are: i) an approach to mine face-to-face collaboration data unobtrusively captured at a classroom with the use of multi-touch tabletops, and ii) the implementation of sequence mining and process modelling techniques to analyse the strategies followed by groups of students. The results of this research can be used to provide real-time or after-class indicators to students; or to help teachers effectively support group learning in the classroom.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, EDM 2013
EditorsSidney K. D'Mello, Rafael A. Calvo, Andrew Olney
PublisherInternational Educational Data Mining Society
ISBN (Electronic)9780983952527
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventEducational Data Mining 2013 - University of Memphis, Memphis, United States of America
Duration: 6 Jul 20139 Jul 2013
Conference number: 6th (Proceedings pdf)


ConferenceEducational Data Mining 2013
Abbreviated titleEDM 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
OtherCollocated and immediately before the 16th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED 2013)
Internet address


  • Classroom
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Interactive Tabletop
  • Process Mining
  • Sequence Mining

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