Evaluation of an Algorithm for Automatic Grading of Forum Messages in MOOC Discussion Forums Articles uri icon

publication date

  • August 2021

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 18


  • 16


  • 13

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2071-1050


  • Discussion forums are a valuable source of information in educational platforms such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), as users can exchange opinions or even help other students in an asynchronous way, contributing to the sustainability of MOOCs even with low interaction from the instructor. Therefore, the use of the forum messages to get insights about students" performance in a course is interesting. This article presents an automatic grading approach that can be used to assess learners through their interactions in the forum. The approach is based on the combination of three dimensions: (1) the quality of the content of the interactions, (2) the impact of the interactions, and (3) the user"s activity in the forum. The evaluation of the approach compares the assessment by experts with the automatic assessment obtaining a high accuracy of 0.8068 and Normalized Root Mean Square Error (NRMSE) of 0.1799, which outperforms previous existing approaches. Future research work can try to improve the automatic grading by the training of the indicators of the approach depending on the MOOCs or the combination with text mining techniques.


  • Computer Science
  • Education


  • mooc; discussion forum; automatic grading; evaluation; interactions; quality; impact