The Role of Knowledge Management and Data Mining in Improving Educational Practices and the Learning Infrastructure
Higher Educational Institutes hold a central and vital role in the knowledge economy. Knowledge generated by these institutes needs to be collected and disseminated to bring about improvement in not only student learning and performance, but also in educational practices, processes and the society in general. Sadly, in many institutes, this knowledge is rarely recognized, captured, analysed or utilized. Apart from the need for improved learning outcomes, rapid growth in educational data and technology has motivated several educational institutes to implement Knowledge Management (KM). KM is the key to enable educational institutes reach their goals and achieve their objectives. This paper explores the basic concept of KM and addresses the need of KM in higher educational institutes by proposing a framework to improve knowledge processes and practices in academia. This paper also highlights the role of data mining in facilitating KM in higher education through a case study that focuses on aspects of student management. Using data mining methods of pattern discovery and association rule mining, interesting patterns have been discovered from academic data that can be used for effective pedagogical decision making. The applications and challenges faced in the implementation of KM within higher educational institutes have also been briefly discussed.