Massive open online courses (MOOCs), which have been deemed a revolutionary teaching mode, are increasingly being used in higher education. However, there remain deficiencies in understanding the relationship between online behavior of students and their performance, and in verifying how well a student comprehends learning material. Therefore, we propose a method for predicting student performance and mastery of knowledge points in MOOCs based on assignment-related online behavior; this allows for those providing academic support to intervene and improve learning outcomes of students facing difficulties. The proposed method was developed while using data from 1528 participants in a C Programming course, from which we extracted assignment-related features. We first applied a multi-task multi-layer long short-term memory-based student performance predicting method with cross-entropy as the loss function to predict students’ overall performance and mastery of each knowledge point. Our method incorporates the attention mechanism, which might better reflect students’ learning behavior and performance. Our method achieves an accuracy of 92.52% for predicting students’ performance and a recall rate of 94.68%. Students’ actions, such as submission times and plagiarism, were related to their performance in the MOOC, and the results demonstrate that our method predicts the overall performance and knowledge points that students cannot master well.
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