Title: Application of artificial neural networks to assess student happiness

Authors: Gokhan Egilmez; Nadiye Özlem Erdil; Omid Mohammadi Arani; Mana Vahid

Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, Buckman Hall 218, West Haven, CT 06516, USA ' Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, Buckman Hall 223h, West Haven, CT 06516, USA ' Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, Buckman Hall 225h, West Haven, CT 06516, USA ' Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, Buckman Hall 225h, West Haven, CT 06516, USA

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to develop an analytical assessment approach to identify the main factors that affect graduate students' happiness level. The two methods, multiple linear regression (MLR) and artificial neural networks (ANN), were employed for analytical modelling. A sample of 118 students at a small non-profit private university constituted the survey pool. Various factors including education, school facilities, health, social activities, and family were taken into consideration as a result of literature review in happiness assessment. A total of 32 inputs and one output variables were identified during survey design phase. The following survey conduction, data collection, cleaning, and preparation; MLR and ANNs were built. ANN models provided better classification performance with over 0.7 R-square and a smaller standard error of estimate compared to MLR. Major policy areas to improve student happiness levels were identified as career services, financial aid, parking and dining services.

Keywords: student happiness; data analytics; neural networks; regression; higher education policy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJADS.2019.098674

International Journal of Applied Decision Sciences, 2019 Vol.12 No.2, pp.115 - 140

Available online: 15 Jan 2019 *

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