1 University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
2 Algoritmi Centre University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
3 University of Minho, Centro de Investigação em Psicologia (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 7231-7241
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
The process of choosing the most suitable course in the High Education is often very difficult and can represent a life choice. Decision Support Systems can be useful for students in the application process. A study was carried out in order to validate this idea. A questinaire was submitted to 2000 students [1]. A decision model adapted to Portugal reality using the RIASEC codes [2] and DGES areas was designed. In parallel a set of other variables were studied in order to be included (e.g. University Quality, Personal, Social, Academic and others). The results of this work (model) can be adapted to other countries. The work was developed crossing different research areas: information systems, education and psychology.

The main objective of this work is to study the viability of using the RIASEC codes in order to help the students in the University application process and how it can be crossed with the university areas (eg. science, health, technologies, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Architecture).

Material & Methods:
RIASEC is characterized by a specific action within the psychometric tests performed once a completely different from the traditional way, namely in terms of how to involve the user and how to diffuse the results. At the end, resulting points are related to six areas of exercise Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. DGES area is composed by a set o areas that have courses associated with it one. As a method was used the RIASEC reference to find the vocational variables to include in Decision Models combined with the DGES areas and other variables.

It was produced a decision model to combine RIASEC codes with other variables investigated (High School, College, DGES Areas, Social, Academic, Cultural, Sports, Prestige, Vocational, and Personal). For exemple in the case of RIASEC codes the student should select three variables and based in their choices a set of areas can be presented. For instance, a course from technologies areas is presented if the student indicated realistic (R) as first domain interests, Investigative (I) at second domain interests and Conventional (C) enterprising (E) or Social (S) at the third. Starting with this presuppose this information was converted into a format capable of being associated with Decision Models, by using a scale from 0 to 5 to relate the variables with vocational courses where 5 represent a strong relationship and 0 unrelated.

This work proved the viability of using RIASEC codes when combined with other variables in order to support the university application process. The generated model contemplates the introduction of a weighting system for these variables that can be set by the user, being the model able to adapt to the intrinsic characteristics of each student. As result it is always presented a set of possible choices adequate to the student profile.

[1] Silva, João Pedro, Portela, Filipe, Santos, Manuel Filipe (2013) A Decision Support System for Portuguese Higher Education course selection – First Round. KMIS 2013.
[2] Fruyt, F. De (1997), The five-factor model of personality and Holland's RIASEC interest types.
Higher Education, University application process, Decision Models, Decision Support, RIASEC.