This work addresses a key challenge in Educational Data Mining, namely to model student behavioral trajectories in order to provide a means for identifying students most at-risk, with the goal of providing supportive interventions. While many forms of data including clickstream data or data from sensors have been used extensively in time series models for such purposes, in this paper we explore the use of textual data, which is sometimes available in the records of students at large, online universities. We propose a time series model that constructs an evolving student state representation using both clickstream data and a signal extracted from the textual notes recorded by human mentors assigned to each student. We explore how the addition of this textual data improves both the predictive power of student states for the purpose of identifying students at risk for course failure as well as for providing interpretable insights about student course engagement processes.
Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the CSD Speaking Skills Requirement.