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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

App Predicts How Well Students Will Do

There seems to be a smartphone app for just about everything. Now, there’s one that can predict how a will college student perform in class.

Dartmouth College monitored 30 undergraduates for 10 weeks with its SmartGPA app. The app used automatic sensing data from the phone to determine behavior patterns, such as partying and studying. At the end of the period, the app was able to predict the students’ GPA within 17-hundredths of a point  against their cumulative GPA from their transcript.

“College life is complex,” said Andrew Campbell, a Dartmouth computer science professor and senior author of the SmartGPA study. “Students have to balance going to classes and performing well academically with competing demands for their time and energy, but there is no general agreement on why students with similar academic capabilities at the same institution do better or worse than one another.”

The study found stress levels on higher performers increased up to the midterm period and gradually decreased to the end of the term. High performers also kept social conversations briefer towards the end of the term, spent more time studying, were more conscientious about their behavior, and were more upbeat at the end of the term.

The next step is to take the app on the road. Campbell told National Public Radio that he is making plans to do further research with the app at the University of Texas at Austin.

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