Personalization in Graphically Rich E-Learning Environments for K-6 Mathematics

Ben Levy, Arnon Hershkovitz, Michal Tabach, Anat Cohen, Avi Segal, Kobi Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This report describes a randomized controlled study that compared the personalization of educational content based on neural networks to personalization by human experts. The study was conducted in a graphically rich online learning environment for elementary school mathematics, in which N = 135 fourth- and sixth-grade students learn via mathematical applets. The performance of students who followed the algorithm's recommendations was compared with that of students who followed an a priori sequence constructed by the experts. While the algorithm only considered students' performance on past problems when recommending new problems, the human experts also took into consideration other factors related both to content and to the graphical interface. The findings reveal no significant differences in performance between the two groups, suggesting that the algorithm was as successful in preparing the students as human teachers. Herein, we discuss the different mechanisms used to prepare each of the groups for the learning tasks and highlight the importance of the user interface in that process. Specifically, we find that applets involving supportive interactions, in which students' interactions were intended to help solve the problem but were optional, represented students' preknowledge, while applets entailing required interactions did not. We contribute to the field of personalization in education with new evidence of the advantages of a content sequencing algorithm - based on collaborative filtering ranking and implemented via a neural network - in a graphically rich environment as tested in authentic classrooms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-376
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023


  • Computer-aided instruction
  • educational games
  • neural networks
  • personalized e-learning
  • prediction methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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