Sergio Luján Mora

Profesor Titular de Universidad

Text Mining of Open-Ended Questions in Self-Assessment of University Teachers: An LDA Topic Modeling Approach

Diego Buenaño-Fernández, Mario González, David Gil, Sergio Luján-Mora
IEEE Access, 8(1), p. 35318-35330, 2020. e-ISSN: 2169-3536.
(IEEE'20a) Revista / Journal


The large amount of text that is generated daily on the web through comments on social networks, blog posts and open-ended question surveys, among others, demonstrates that text data is used frequently, and therefore; its processing becomes a challenge for researchers. The topic modeling is one of the emerging techniques in text mining; it is based on the discovery of latent data and the search for relationships among text documents. In this paper, the objective of the research is to evaluate a generic methodology based on topic modeling and text network modeling, that allows researchers to gather valuable information from surveys that use open-ended questions. To achieve this, this methodology has been evaluated through the use of a case study in which the responses to a teacher self-assessment survey in an Ecuadorian university have been studied. The main contribution of the article is the inclusion of clustering algorithms in order to complement the results obtained when executing topic modeling. The proposed methodology is based on four phases: (a) Construction of a text database, (b) Text mining and topic modeling, (c) Topic network modeling and (d) The relevance of the identified topics. In previous works, it has been observed that the human interpretative contribution plays an important role in the process, especially in phases (a) and (d). For this reason, the visualization interfaces, such as graphs and dendograms, are of critical importance for researchers in order allow topic to efficiently analyze the results of the topic modeling. As a result of this case study, a compendium of the main strategies that teachers carry out in their classes with the aim of improving student retention is presented. In addition, the proposed methodology can be extended to the analysis of the unstructured textual information found in blogs, social networks, forums, etc.