Learning Bayesian Knowledge Tracing Parameters with a Knowledge Heuristic and Empirical Probabilities

William J. Hawkins, Neil T. Heffernan, Ryan S. J. D. Baker

Student modeling is an important component of ITS research because it can help guide the behavior of a running tutor and help researchers understand how students learn. Due to its predictive accuracy, interpretability and ability to infer student knowledge, Corbett & Anderson’s Bayesian Knowledge Tracing is one of the most popular student models. However, researchers have discovered problems with some of the most popular methods of fitting it. These problems include: multiple sets of highly dissimilar parameters predicting the data equally well (identifiability), local minima, degenerate parameters, and computational cost during fitting. Some researchers have proposed new fitting procedures to combat these problems, but are more complex and not completely successful at eliminating the problems they set out to prevent. We instead fit parameters by estimating the mostly likely point that each student learned the skill, developing a new method that avoids the above problems while achieving similar predictive accuracy.

The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-07221-0_18.