Wang, R., Harari, G. M., Hao, P., Zhou, X., & Campbell, A. (2015). SmartGPA: How Smartphones Can Assess and Predict Academic Performance of College Students. Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing, 295-306, ACM.
Many cognitive, behavioral, and environmental factors impact student learning during college. The SmartGPA study uses passive sensing data and self-reports from students’ smartphones to understand individual behavioral differences between high and low performers during a single 10-week term. We propose new methods for better understanding study (e.g., study duration) and social (e.g., partying) behavior of a group of undergraduates. We show that there are a number of important behavioral factors automatically inferred from smartphones that significantly correlate with term and cumulative GPA, including time series analysis of activity, conversational interaction, mobility, class attendance, studying, and partying. We propose a simple model based on linear regression with lasso regularization that can accurately predict cumulative GPA. The predicted GPA strongly correlates with the ground truth from students’ transcripts (r= 0.81 and p < 0.001) and predicts GPA within ± 0.179 of the reported grades. Our results open the way for novel interventions to improve academic performance.