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Work-in-Progress: Student Dashboard for a Multi-agent Approach for Academic Advising

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Computers in Education Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1773.1 - 26.1773.14



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Paper Authors


Virgilio Ernesto Gonzalez University of Texas, El Paso Orcid 16x16

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Virgilio Gonzalez, Associate Chair and Clinical Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso, started his first appointment at UTEP in 2001. He received the UT System Board of Regents Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012. From 1996 to 2001 he was the Technology Planning manager for AT&T-Alestra in Mexico; and before that was the Telecommunications Director for ITESM in Mexico. His research areas are in Communications Networks, Fiber Optics, Wireless Sensors, Process Automation, and Engineering Education.

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Oscar Antonio Perez University of Texas, El Paso

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Mr. Oscar Perez received his B.S. and Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso with a special focus on data communications. He received the Woody Everett Award from the American Society for Engineering Education in August 2011 for research on the impact of mobile devices in the classroom. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Mr. Perez has been teaching the Basic Engineering (BE) – BE 1301 course for over 7 years and led the design for the development of the new Basic Engineering course (now UNIV 1301) for engineering at UTEP. He has developed 5 new courses, including UTEP technology & society core curriculum classes specifically for incoming freshman with a STEM background. Mr. Perez was awarded the 2014 University of Texas at El Paso award for Outstanding Teaching.

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Student Dashboard for a Multi-agent Approach for Academic AdvisingThe objective of this work is to demonstrate a mechanism to improve the advising of students ina nontraditional environment. Minority Serving Institutions, Commuter Campus and institutionswith a high percentage of student transfers are unable to keep a tightly controlled cohort ofstudents progressing through the curriculum. Students usually have varied course loads anddifferent priorities due to family, financial need or other responsibilities. Therefore, they need anindividualized approach to advising.The school administration faces more challenges scheduling courses and allocating diminishingresources to satisfy the student demand. In addition, the faculty needs to assess the efficacy ofthe curriculum in a program and collecting longitudinal student data is difficult.We are proposing the application of a multi-agent approach to allow the students to take morecontrol over their individualized advising. In this context, the student tool becomes an agent andthe school provides the environment with a desirable behavior for the system. We call theacademic control objective the “Operator.”This paper focuses on the agent system by building a simple dashboard tool that will collectstudents’ information about their progress through the curriculum in a program and will generateadvising recommendations. The agent logic employs principles used in project management toolsdesigned to help the students complete their degree plan sooner. For example it would provide avisualization map of course sequences, customized for each student, making advisingadjustments that will optimize the time to obtain the degree under a constrained set of resources.At the same time, the agent system provides feedback to the Operator.The second tool will be the Operator dashboard that will consolidate the collected data from theagents through several semesters (historical data) plus the predicted effects of the recommendedplans. This should enable a better resource allocation and deeper analysis of the curriculumeffectiveness. This tool is still under development.Previous work has presented some limited insight into the multi-agent approach or the criticalpath methods. However the proliferation of mobile devices and cloud computing enables a largerscale application of the proposed methodology.

Gonzalez, V. E., & Perez, O. A. (2015, June), Work-in-Progress: Student Dashboard for a Multi-agent Approach for Academic Advising Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25109

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