The design and delivering of platforms for online education is fostering increasingly intense research. Scaling up education online brings new emerging needs related with hardly manageable classes, overwhelming content alternatives, and academic dishonesty while interacting remotely, as examples. However, with the impressive progress of the data mining and machine learning fields, combined with the large amounts of learning-related data and high-performance computing, it has been possible to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of learning and teaching online. Methods at the analytical and algorithmic levels are constantly being developed and hybrid approaches are receiving an increasing attention. Recent methods are analyzing not only the online traces left by students a posteriori, but also the extent to which this data can be turned into actionable insights and models, to support the above needs in a computationally efficient, adaptive and timely way. In this paper, we present relevant open challenges lying at the intersection between the machine learning and educational communities, that need to be addressed to further develop the field of intelligent systems for online education. ... mehrSeveral areas of research in this field are identified, such as data availability and sharing, time-wise and multi-modal data modelling, generalizability, fairness, explainability, interpretability, privacy, and ethics behind models delivered for supporting education. Practical challenges and recommendations for possible research
directions are provided for each of them, paving the way for future advances in this field.