On Wednesday this week I had to present my honours proposal to the rest of the commencing Computer Science Honours/Masters student cohort, as well as some of the academics within the school. My honours project is titled Automatic Group Formation – Data Analysis to Guide the Creation of Successful Student Groups, and I’m studying under Associate Professor Katrina Falkner, as part of the Computer Science Education Research (CSER) group at the University of Adelaide.
As part of this, I’m going to be looking into student metadata and finding ways of generating effective student groups using this data. At the moment, my approach will be to split metadata points into “required” and “preferred” criteria. For example, it may be a requirement for the students to be available at the same time, and to speak the same language. It may then be preferable to select students who have similar GPAs or forum contributions. My intended approach for this is to use hierarchical clustering to allow for this to happen.
I presented my proposal, and got some good questions and feedback from some of the crowd. I think I did a good job of conveying what my plans were, and the research I’ve done so far into my project. Of course, there are always things that I could do better – I could have rehearsed my presentation a bit more so that I felt a little bit more prepared, and I could have made better cue cards instead of reading from a big sheet of paper. Things to learn for next time, I guess!
Here‘s a cute little blog post welcoming me to the CSER group. I’m pretty excited to get working on this!