Improving early prediction of academic failure using sentiment analysis on self-evaluated comments

L. C. Yu*, C. W. Lee, H. I. Pan, C. Y. Chou, P. Y. Chao, Z. H. Chen, S. F. Tseng, C. L. Chan, K. R. Lai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents a model for the early identification of students who are likely to fail in an academic course. To enhance predictive accuracy, sentiment analysis is used to identify affective information from text-based self-evaluated comments written by students. Experimental results demonstrated that adding extracted sentiment information from student self-evaluations yields a significant improvement in early-stage prediction quality. The results also indicate the limited early-stage predictive value of structured data, such as homework completion, attendance, and exam grades, due to data sparseness at the beginning of the course. Thus, applying sentiment analysis to unstructured data (e.g., self-evaluation comments) can play an important role in improving the accuracy of early-stage predictions. The findings present educators with an opportunity to provide students with real-time feedback and support to help students become self-regulated learners. Using the exploring results for improvement in teaching and learning initiatives is important to maintain students' performances and the effectiveness of the learning process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-365
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Learning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug


  • early prediction
  • learning analytics
  • sentiment analysis
  • unstructured data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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