Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Mohammadi-Aragh, Jean

Committee Member

Ball, John

Committee Member

Green, Ryan

Committee Member

Iqbal, Umar

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


A multitude of data is being produced from the increase in instructional technology, e-learning resources, and online courses. This data could be used by educators to analyze and extract useful information which could be beneficial to both instructors and students. Educational Data Mining (EDM) extracts hidden information from data contained within the educational domain. In data mining, hybrid method is the combination of various machine learning techniques. Through this dissertation, the novel use of machine learning hybrid techniques was explored in EDM using three educational case studies. First, in consideration for the importance of students’ attention, on and off-task data to analyze the attention behavior of the students were collected. Two feature selection techniques, Principal Component Analysis and Linear Discriminant Analysis, were combined to improve the classification accuracies for classifying the students’ attention patterns. The relationship between attention and learning was also studied by calculating Pearson’s correlation coefficient and p-value. Our examination was then shifted towards academic performance as it is important to ensuring a quality education. Two different 2D- Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) models were concatenated and produced a single model to predict students’ academic performance in terms of pass and fail. Lastly, the importance of using machine learning in online learning to maintain academic integrity was considered. In this work, primarily a traditional machine learning algorithms were used to predict the cheaters in an online examination. 1D CNN architecture was then used to extract the features from our cheater dataset and the previously used machine learning model was applied on extracted features to detect the cheaters. Such type of hybrid model outperformed the original traditional machine learning model and CNN model when used alone in terms of classification accuracy. The three studies reflect the use of machine learning application in EDM. Classification accuracy is important in EDM because different educational decisions are made based on the results of our model. So, to increase the accuracies, a hybrid method was employed. Thus, through this dissertation it was successfully shown that hybrid models can be used in EDM to improve the classification accuracies.