Educational recommender systems channel most of the research efforts on the effectiveness of the recommended items. While teachers have a central role in online platforms, the impact of recommender systems for teachers in terms of the exposure such systems give to the courses is an under-explored area. In this paper, we consider data coming from a real-world platform and analyze the distribution of the recommendations w.r.t. the geographical provenience of the teachers. We observe that data is highly imbalanced towards the United States, in terms of offered courses and of interactions. These imbalances are exacerbated by recommender systems, which overexpose the country w.r.t. its representation in the data, thus generating unfairness for teachers outside that country. To introduce equity, we propose an approach that regulates the share of recommendations given to the items produced in a country (visibility) and the position of the items in the recommended list (exposure).

The Winner Takes it All: Geographic Imbalance and Provider (Un)fairness in Educational Recommender Systems

Boratto L.;Marras Mirko
2021

Abstract

Educational recommender systems channel most of the research efforts on the effectiveness of the recommended items. While teachers have a central role in online platforms, the impact of recommender systems for teachers in terms of the exposure such systems give to the courses is an under-explored area. In this paper, we consider data coming from a real-world platform and analyze the distribution of the recommendations w.r.t. the geographical provenience of the teachers. We observe that data is highly imbalanced towards the United States, in terms of offered courses and of interactions. These imbalances are exacerbated by recommender systems, which overexpose the country w.r.t. its representation in the data, thus generating unfairness for teachers outside that country. To introduce equity, we propose an approach that regulates the share of recommendations given to the items produced in a country (visibility) and the position of the items in the recommended list (exposure).
9781450380379
bias; data imbalance; education; fairness; MOOC; online course
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/321853
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