Predicting Instructor Performance Using Data Mining Techniques in Higher Education


IEEE ACCESS, vol.4, pp.2379-2387, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 4
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/access.2016.2568756
  • Journal Name: IEEE ACCESS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2379-2387
  • Keywords: Artificial neural networks, classification algorithms, decision trees, linear discriminant analysis, performance evaluation, support vector machines, STUDENT-EVALUATIONS
  • Marmara University Affiliated: Yes


Data mining applications are becoming a more common tool in understanding and solving educational and administrative problems in higher education. In general, research in educational mining focuses on modeling student's performance instead of instructors' performance. One of the common tools to evaluate instructors' performance is the course evaluation questionnaire to evaluate based on students' perception. In this paper, four different classification techniques decision tree algorithms, support vector machines, artificial neural networks, and discriminant analysis are used to build classifier models. Their performances are compared over a data set composed of responses of students to a real course evaluation questionnaire using accuracy, precision, recall, and specificity performance metrics. Although all the classifier models show comparably high classification performances, C5.0 classifier is the best with respect to accuracy, precision, and specificity. In addition, an analysis of the variable importance for each classifier model is done. Accordingly, it is shown that many of the questions in the course evaluation questionnaire appear to be irrelevant. Furthermore, the analysis shows that the instructors' success based on the students' perception mainly depends on the interest of the students in the course. The findings of this paper indicate the effectiveness and expressiveness of data mining models in course evaluation and higher education mining. Moreover, these findings may be used to improve the measurement instruments.