Learning in the Time of COVID-19

Forthcoming, International Review of Economic Education

54 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2020 Last revised: 5 Apr 2021

See all articles by Bryan Engelhardt

Bryan Engelhardt

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh - Department of Economics

Marianne Johnson

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh - Department of Economics

Martin Meder

Nicholls State University - College of Business Administration

Date Written: March 31, 2021

Abstract

I In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, universities closed to face-to-face learning, shifting entirely to online instruction midway through the spring 2020 semester. In this paper, we compare student performance in the COVID-19 affected semester to that of the previous three unaffected semesters. We consider both student grades and student performance on standardized post-tests in introductory macroeconomics, microeconomics, and statistics courses. We conclude that there were no significant differences in performance across the semesters. Despite concerns that low-income, first-generation, and minority students could suffer disproportionately, we identify no measurable effect for these population subgroups. Women are found to overperform in the COVID-affected semester when compared to previous terms. Women at our institution could be expected to earn 0.15 of a grade-point less in introductory economics courses than otherwise comparable men in pre-COVID semesters. In the COVID-affected semester, this difference disappeared, with women earning higher grades, on average, than men.

Keywords: Economics Education, COVID-19, Online Learning, Colleges and Universities, Coronavirus

JEL Classification: A10, A20, A22, I23

Suggested Citation

Engelhardt, Bryan and Johnson, Marianne and Meder, Martin, Learning in the Time of COVID-19 (March 31, 2021). Forthcoming, International Review of Economic Education, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3670173 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3670173

Bryan Engelhardt

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh - Department of Economics ( email )

800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://uwosh.edu/cob/people/engelhardt-bryan/

Marianne Johnson (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh - Department of Economics ( email )

800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901
United States
920-424-2230 (Phone)
920-424-1734 (Fax)

Martin Meder

Nicholls State University - College of Business Administration ( email )

Thibodaux, LA
United States

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