Balancing Faculty and Student Preferences in the Assignment of Students to Groups
Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education (DSJIE)
This article describes a practical methodology for assigning students to groups where the goal is to create diversity within the groups while taking into consideration the preferences of the students. A motivating application of this work is the assignment of students to first-year seminars. In this common scenario, students select and rank a small subset of seminars from the list of those available. The academic institution then attempts to assign students to a seminar on their list, while maintaining course capacities. Faculty are interested in having seminars that are balanced with regards to gender and the number of international students, while students are interested in being assigned to one of their higher ranked seminars. In this article, we develop a simple multi-objective convex quadratic program that can determine assignments that are well balanced and satisfy the highest preferences of the students. The advantage of our approach is that the model can be submitted directly to a standard optimization software package, eliminating the need for a specialized algorithm.
Forrester, Richard, and Kevin Hutson. "Balancing Faculty and Student Preferences in the Assignment of Students to Groups." Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education (DSJIE) 12, no. 2 (2014): 131-147.