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Kowald Dominik, Lex Elisabeth, Kopeinik Simone

Which Algorithms Suit Which Learning Environments? A Comparative Study of Recommender Systems in TEL

European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL'2016, Springer, Toledo, Spain, 2016

In recent years, a number of recommendation algorithmshave been proposed to help learners find suitable learning resources online.Next to user-centered evaluations, offline-datasets have been usedto investigate new recommendation algorithms or variations of collaborativefiltering approaches. However, a more extensive study comparinga variety of recommendation strategies on multiple TEL datasets ismissing. In this work, we contribute with a data-driven study of recommendationstrategies in TEL to shed light on their suitability forTEL datasets. To that end, we evaluate six state-of-the-art recommendationalgorithms for tag and resource recommendations on six empiricaldatasets: a dataset from European Schoolnets TravelWell, a dataset fromthe MACE portal, which features access to meta-data-enriched learningresources from the field of architecture, two datasets from the socialbookmarking systems BibSonomy and CiteULike, a MOOC dataset fromthe KDD challenge 2015, and Aposdle, a small-scale workplace learningdataset. We highlight strengths and shortcomings of the discussed recommendationalgorithms and their applicability to the TEL datasets.Our results demonstrate that the performance of the algorithms stronglydepends on the properties and characteristics of the particular dataset.However, we also find a strong correlation between the average numberof users per resource and the algorithm performance. A tag recommenderevaluation experiment reveals that a hybrid combination of a cognitiveinspiredand a popularity-based approach consistently performs best onall TEL datasets we utilized in our study.
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