walter leite

Walter Leite and Using Data for Better Online Learning

In Florida, researchers apply mathematics, statistics and data mining to discover better methods to online learning.


Walter Leite, a professor and researcher at the UF College of Education, works to combine advanced statistical methods with data mining methods to create places online that can tailor education to students.

“My research tries to put those two things together,” Leite said, adding that teachers are always looking for the next best ways to engage their students.

By organizing large amounts of educational data from Florida K-12 schools, Leite can better conclude his findings. The volume of information alone leaves more questions to be answered.

“We improve causal inference when the data is very messy,” Leite said. “I typically will be looking at how to integrate data mining methods into traditional statistics.”

The Virtual Learning Lab at the UF Lastinger Center is a gateway for Leite to find out the best ways that students can learn. Although he has worked with elementary level education, he is currently working on how to make learning math easier for middle and high schoolers.


As more teachers around the world are now hosting classes online, some with curriculum meant to be in person, the quality of online learning methods is now a mainstream essential concern. In collaboration with Algebra Nation, Leite is helping draw conclusions for the digitized learning community.

“With Algebra Nation we have been seeing that it works well, particularly if teachers have students reviewing incorrect answers. My research helps find out what works in terms of teaching math,” Leite said. “For VLL we are interested in personalized learning, or how to create online learning platforms that provide a personalized guidance.”


Walter Leite is a UFII Affiliated Faculty Member in the College of Education.