NBER

George Orlov, Douglas McKee, James Berry, Austin Boyle, Thomas DiCiccio, Tyler Ransom, Alex Rees-Jones, Jörg Stoye

Bibliographic Information

NBER Working Paper No. 28022
Issued in October 2020
NBER Program(s):ED

Available Formats

Abstract

We use standardized end-of-course knowledge assessments to examine student learning during the disruptions induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Examining seven economics courses taught at four US R1 institutions, we find that students performed substantially worse, on average, in Spring 2020 when compared to Spring or Fall 2019. We find no evidence that the effect was driven by specific demographic groups. However, our results suggest that teaching methods that encourage active engagement, such as the use of small group activities and projects, played an important role in mitigating this negative effect. Our results point to methods for more effective online teaching as the pandemic continues.

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