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Technical Report: UTEP-CS-18-84


In teaching, it is very important to identify, as early as possible, students who may be at risk of failure. Traditionally, two natural criteria are used for this identification: poor grades in previous classes, and poor grades on the first assignments in the current class. Our empirical results show that these criteria do not always work: sometimes a student deemed at-risk by one of these criteria consistently succeeds, and sometimes a student who is not considered at-risk frequently fails. In this paper, we provide a theoretical explanation of our quantitative empirical results, and we use these results to provide recommendations on how to better detect at-risk students.

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