Mining Students’ Data to Analyse Usage Patterns in eLearning System of Secondary Schools in Tanzania

  • Joel S. Mtebe University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Aron W. Kondoro University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Keywords: Educational Data Mining, Learning Analytics, eLearning systems, elearning secondary schools


The adoption and use of various eLearning systems to enhance the quality of education in secondary schools in Tanzania is becoming common. However, there is little evidence to suggest that students are actually use them. Existing studies tend to focused on investigating students’ attitude towards using these systems through surveys. Nonetheless, data from surveys is normally subject to the possibility of distortion, low reliability, and rarely indicate the causal effects. This study adopted WEKA and Keel as data mining tools to analyze students’ usage patterns and trends using 6,8827 individual records from log file of Halostudy system implemented in secondary schools in Tanzania. The study found that the system usage is moderate and, in the decline. There is also variability in the usage of multimedia elements with biology having the highest number while mathematics had the lowest. Students from Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, and Arusha in that order had the highest system usage with the lowest being from the peripheral regions. The possible challenges limiting system usage are discussed. These findings show that data mining tools can be used to indicate usage patterns of systems implemented in sub-Saharan Africa and help educators to find ways of maximizing systems usage.

Author Biography

Joel S. Mtebe, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Dr. Joel S. Mtebe is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science and the Director of the Center for Virtual Learning (CVL). He received B.Sc. Computer Science and Statistics from the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2002 and Master of Online Education from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia in 2004. In 2014, he received his doctoral degree in Interactive Technology/Human Computer Interaction from the University of Tampere in Finland


Barakabitze, A. A., Kitindi, E. J., Sanga, C., Kibirige, G., & Makwinya, N. (2015). Exploring students’ skills and attitudes on effective use of ICTs: Case study of selected tanzanian public secondary schools. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 3(6), 407–425.

Bervell, B., & Umar, I. N. (2018). Blended learning or face-to-face? Does tutor anxiety prevent the adoption of Learning Management Systems for distance education in Ghana? Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 1-19.

Chambo, F., Laizer, L., Nkansah-Gyekye, Y., & Ndume, V. (2013). Mobile Learning Model for Tanzania Secondary Schools: Case study of Kilimanjaro Region. In Pan African International Conference on Information Science, Computing and Telecommunications (2013) (Vol. 4, pp. 698–701).

CSSC. (2014). the performance enhancement by e-learning for secondary schools. Retrieved September 21, 2019, from

Ernández, A. F., Uengo, J. L., & Errac, J. D. (2011). KEEL: A software tool to assess evolutionary algorithms for data mining problems (regression, classification, clustering, pattern mining and so on). Journal of Multiple-Valued Logic and Soft Computing, 17, 255–287. Retrieved from

Estacio, R. R., & Raga, R. C. (2017). Analyzing students online learning behavior in blended courses using Moodle. Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, 12(1), 52–68.

Filippidi, A., Tselios, N., & Komis, V. (2010). Impact of Moodle usage practices on students’ performance in the context of a blended learning environment. In Social applications for lifelong learning (pp. 1–6). Patra, Greece,. Retrieved from

Ghasia, M. A., De Smet, E., Machumu, H., & Musabila, A. (2018). Towards mobile learning deployment in higher learning institutions: A report on the qualitative inquiries conducted in four universities in Tanzania. Afrika Focus, 31(1).

Hall, M., Frank, E., Holmes, G., Pfahringer, B., Reutemann, P., & Witten, I. H. (2009). The WEKA data mining software. ACM SIGKDD Explorations Newsletter, 11(1), 10.

Holmes, G., Donkin, A., & Witten, I. H. (1994). WEKA: A machine learning workbench. In Proceedings, Second Australia and New Zealand Conference on Intelligent Information Systems (pp. 27–29).

Hung, J.-L., & Zhang, K. (2008). Revealing online learning behaviors and activity patterns and making predictions with data mining techniques in online teaching. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 4(4), 426–437.

IPinfo. (2018). IP data for all your business needs. Retrieved from

Jo, I.-H., Kim, D., & Yoon, M. (2014). Analyzing the log patterns of adult learners in LMS using learning analytics. In Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge - LAK ’14 (pp. 183–187). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press.

Joyce-Gibbons, A., Galloway, D., Mollel, A., Mgoma, S., Pima, M., & Deogratias, E. (2018). Mobile phone use in two secondary schools in Tanzania. Education and Information Technologies, 23(1), 73–92.

Kadoic, N., & Oreski, D. (2018). Analysis of student behavior and success based on logs in Moodle. 2018 41st International Convention on Information and Communication Technology, Electronics and Microelectronics, MIPRO 2018 - Proceedings, (pp. 654–659).

Kafyulilo, A. (2014). Access, use and perceptions of teachers and students towards mobile phones as a tool for teaching and learning in Tanzania. Education and Information Technologies, 19(1), 115–127.

Kalinga, A. E., Bagile, R. B. B., & Trojer, L. (2006). An Interactive e-Learning Management System ( e-LMS ): A solution to Tanzanian Secondary Schools’ education. International Journal of Human and Social Sciences, 1(4), 252–255. Retrieved from

Kazoka, L. (2016, December 3). Tanzania: Halotel offers free Internet to 400 schools. Tanzania Daily News. Retrieved from

Kihwele, J. E., & Bali, T. A. L. (2013). The perceptions of teachers, parents and students on the effects of mobile phone use on student learning in Tanzania. Journal of Education and Practice, 4(25), 101–107. Retrieved from

Kotsiantis, S., Tselios, N., Filippidi, A., & Komis, V. (2013). Using learning analytics to identify successful learners in a blended learning course. International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 5(2), 133–150.

Lotsari, E., Verykios, V. S., Panagiotakopoulos, C., & Kalles, D. (2014). A learning analytics methodology for student profiling. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 8445 LNCS, pp. 300–312).

Lwoga, E. T. (2014). Critical success factors for adoption of web-based learning management systems in Tanzania. International Journal of Education and Development Using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), 10(1), 4–21. Retrieved from

Macfadyen, L. P., & Dawson, S. (2010). Mining LMS data to develop an “early warning system” for educators: A proof of concept. Computers & Education, 54(2), 588–599.

Malero, A., Ismail, A., & Manyilizu, M. (2015). ICT usage readiness for private and public secondary schools in Tanzania, a case of Dodoma Municipality. International Journal of Computer Applications, 129(3), 2013–2016.

MoEST. (2017). Feasibility study exploring e-learning initiatives at secondary schools in Tanzania mainland. Dodoma, Tanzania.

Mselle, L. J., & Kondo, T. S. (2013). Results on implementing personal learning environments in Tanzanian secondary schools. In 8th International Conference for Internet Technology and Secured Transactions, ICITST 2013 (pp. 417–421).

Msoka, V. C., Mtebe, J. S., Kissaka, M. M., & Kalinga, E. C. (2015). Developing and piloting interactive physics experiments for secondary schools in Tanzania. Journal of Learning for Development - JL4D, 2(2). Retrieved from

Mtebe, J. S., Kibga, E. Y., Mwambela, A. A., & Kissaka, M. M. (2015). Developing multimedia enhanced content to upgrade subject content knowledge of secondary school teachers in Tanzania. Journal of Learning for Development - JL4D, 2(3), 29–44. Retrieved from

Mtebe, J. S., & Kissaka, M. M. (2015). Heuristics for evaluating usability of learning management systems in Africa. In P. Cunningham & M. Cunningham (Eds.), IST-Africa 2015 Conference Proceedings (pp. 1–13). Lilongwe, Malawi.

Mtebe, J. S., Kondoro, A., Kissaka, M. M., & Kibga, E. (2015). Using SMS mobile technology to assess the mastery of subject content knowledge of science and mathematics teachers of secondary schools in Tanzania. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 9(11), 3498–3506. Retrieved from

Mtebe, J. S., Mbwilo, B., & Kissaka, M. M. (2016). Factors influencing teachers’ use of multimedia enhanced content in secondary schools in Tanzania. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(2), 65–84.

Mtebe, J. S., & Raisamo, R. (2014). Investigating perceived barriers to the use of Open Educational Resources in higher education in Tanzania. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 15(2), 43–65.

Mtebe, J. S., & Raphael, C. (2018). A critical review of elearning research trends in Tanzania. Journal of Learning for Development - JL4D, 5(2), 163–178. Retrieved from

Muhoza, O. U., Tedre, M., Aghaee, N., & Hansson, H. (2014). Viewpoints to ICT practices and hindrances from in tanzanian secondary schools and teacher training colleges: Focus on classroom teachers. In Proceedings - 2014 International Conference on Teaching and Learning in Computing and Engineering, LATICE 2014 (pp. 133–140).

Mwakisole, K. F., Kissaka, M. M., & Mtebe, J. S. (2018). Feasibility of cloud computing implementation for eLearning in secondary schools in Tanzania. International Journal of Education and Development Using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), 14(1), 91–102. Retrieved from

Mwalumbwe, I., & Mtebe, J. S. (2017). Using learning analytics to predict students’ performance in Moodle Learning Management Systems: A case of Mbeya University of Science and Technology. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 79(1), 1–13.

Naveh, G., Tubin, D., & Pliskin, N. (2012). Student satisfaction with learning management systems: a lens of critical success factors. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 21(3), 337–350.

Podgorelec, V., & Kuhar, S. (2011). Taking advantage of education data: Advanced data analysis and reporting in virtual learning environments. Elektronika Ir Elektrotechnika, 8(8), 111–116.

Romero, C., Espejo, P. G., Zafra, A., Romero, J. R., & Ventura, S. (2013). Web usage mining for predicting final marks of students that use Moodle courses. Computer Applications in Engineering Education, 21(1), 135–146.

Romero, C., & Ventura, S. (2013). Data mining in education. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 3(1), 12–27.

Romero, C., Ventura, S., & García, E. (2008). Data mining in course management systems: Moodle case study and tutorial. Computers and Education, 51(1), 368–384.

ShuleDirect. (2019). Shuledirect elearning system. Retrieved from

Ssekakubo, G., Suleman, H., & Marsden, G. (2011). Issues of adoption: Have e-Learning Management Systems fulfilled their potential in developing countries? In Proceedings of the South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists Conference on Knowledge, Innovation and Leadership in a Diverse, Multidisciplinary Environment (pp. 231–238). Cape Town, South Africa: ACM New York, NY, USA ©2011.

Steinke, M., Huk, T., & Floto, C. (2003). Helping teachers develop computer animations for improving learning in science education. In Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 3022–3025). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Retrieved from

Tanzania TELECOMS. (2016, July 31). 700 schools in Tanzania to be connected to the Internet. Retrieved from

Tarigan, J. (2011). Factors influencing user's satisfaction on eLearning systems. Jurnal Manajemen Dan Kewirausahaan, 13(2), 177–188.

Tarimo, R., & Kavishe, G. (2017). Internet access and usage by secondary school students in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania. International Journal of Education and Development Using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), 13(2), 56–69. Retrieved from

Tedre, M., Ngumbuke, F., & Kemppainen, J. (2010). Infrastructure, human capacity, and high hopes: A decade of development of e-Learning in a Tanzanian HEI. Redefining the Digital Divide in Higher Education, 7(1), 7–20. Retrieved from

Unwin, T., Kleessen, B., Hollow, D., Williams, J., Oloo, L. M., Alwala, J., … Muianga, X. (2010). Digital learning management systems in Africa: Myths and realities. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 25(1), 5–23.

van Wel, L., & Royakkers, L. (2004). Ethical issues in web data mining. Ethics and Information Technology, 6(2), 129–140.

Venter, P., Rensburg, M. J. van, & Davis, A. (2012). Drivers of learning management system use in a South African open and distance learning institution. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(2), 183–198.

Wen, M., & Rose, C. P. (2014). Identifying latent study habits by mining learner behavior patterns in massive open online courses. Proceedings of the 23rd ACM International Conference on Conference on Information and Knowledge Management - CIKM ’14, (Vi), 1983–1986.

Woodcock, A., Burns, J., Mount, S., Newman, R., & Gaura, E. (2005). Animating pervasive computing. 23rd Annual International Conference on Design of Communication: Documenting & Designing for Pervasive Information. Coventry, United Kingdom: ACM.

Yu, T., & Jo, I. (2014). Educational technology approach toward learning analytics : Relationship between student online behavior and learning performance in Higher Education. In Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (pp. 269–270). Indianapolis, IN, USA.

Zorrilla, M., García, D., & Álvarez, E. (2010). A decision support system to improve e-learning environments. In Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Data Semantics - DataSem ’10 (p. 1).

How to Cite
Mtebe, J. S., & Kondoro, A. W. (2019). Mining Students’ Data to Analyse Usage Patterns in eLearning System of Secondary Schools in Tanzania. Journal of Learning for Development - JL4D, 6(3). Retrieved from
Research Articles