F5-CL1-4 - Sentiment Analysis on Conversations in Collaborative Active Learning as an Early Predictor of Performance

3. Research Full Paper
Nasrin Dehbozorgi1 , Mary Lou Maher1, Mohsen Dorodchi1
1 UNC Charlotte

This full research paper studies affective states in students’ verbal conversations in an introductory Computer Science class (CS1) as they work in teams and discuss course content. Research on the cognitive process suggests that social constructs are an essential part of the learning process [1]. This highlights the importance of teamwork in engineering education. Besides cognitive and social constructs, performance evaluation methods are key components of successful team experience. However, measuring students’ individual performance in low-stake teams is a challenge since the main goal of these teams is social construction of knowledge rather than final artifact production. On the other hand, in lowstake teams the small contribution of teamwork to students’ grade might cause students not to collaborate as expected. We study affective metrics of sentiment and subjectivity in collaborative conversations in low-stake teams to identify the correlation between students’ affective states and their performance in CS1 course. The novelty of this research is its focus on students’ verbal conversations in class and how to identify and operationalize affect as a metric that is related to individual performance. We record students’ conversation during low-stake teamwork in multiple sessions throughout the semester. By applying Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms, sentiment classes and subjectivity scores are extracted from their speech. The result of this study shows a positive correlation between students’ performance and their positive sentiment as well as the level of subjectivity in speech. The outcome of this research has the potential to serve as a performance predictor in earlier stages of the semester to provide timely feedback to students and enables instructors to make interventions that can lead to student success.