A Novel Algorithm for Professor Recommendation in Higher Education
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Keywords:Education, Machine Learning, Gradient-boosted Decision Tree, Intelligent Recommendation System
This paper introduces a novel professor-recommendation system designed specifically for community college and university courses. Building upon an existing algorithm for one-on-one teacher recommendations, we leveraged insights from the literature on Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) recommender algorithms. By analysing various approaches, we combined and refined ideas to develop an optimised system. Our approach utilises a tri-module framework that incorporates supervised and unsupervised learning techniques. The first module employs a Gradient-boosted Decision Tree algorithm, augmented with multiple factors and student dropout rates as ground truth, to generate a ranking score. The second module applies Apriori Association and Density-based Spatial Clustering of Applications with Noise (DBSCAN) algorithms to analyse these factors and identify professors with similar characteristics. In the third module, item-based collaborative filtering is employed, incorporating user ratings and the cosine similarity algorithm. The outputs from these three modules are subsequently integrated through a weighted average. This addition enables the system to prioritise opportunities for new professors, thereby ensuring a balanced recommendation approach. The resulting combined ranking score provides accurate recommendations for course instructors. This approach can be integrated into university course selection software for the benefit of both students and educational institutions.
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