Faculty Papers Focus on Novel Education Research

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Technology-enhanced learning with a focus on multi-stakeholder recommender systems is a novel direction in education research today. A multi-stakeholder recommender system attempts to satisfy the needs of end users and other stakeholders by producing a variety of recommendations that optimize the utility. Yong Zheng, assistant professor of information technology and management at Illinois Tech’s School of Applied Technology, is considered a pioneer in this field and has tailored recent work from the perspective of students and instructors.

He will present papers related to this area at upcoming international conferences. Zheng conducted his work with the help of graduate students Nastaran Ghane and Milad Sabouri:

  • Personalized Educational Learning with Multi-Stakeholder Optimizations at the 27th ACM Conference on User Modelling, Adaptation and Personalization in Lanarca, Cyprus (June 2019)
  • Multi-Stakeholder Personalized Learning with Preference Corrections at the 19th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies in Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil (July 2019)

“Some students may prefer easier projects while instructors may encourage students to try more challenging ones, for example,” says Zheng, in explaining how his research attempts to build smart recommender systems to suggest appropriate data analytical projects. “The multi-stakeholder recommendation models proposed by my team are able to balance the needs of both students and instructors. The optimal cut-off value for the balance can be discovered by the multi-objective learning algorithms.”

Zheng, whose research interests lie in data science, personalization, recommender systems, context-awareness, human factors, and technology-enhanced learning, says that the projects will be extended into future semesters.