Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic: It is Not Who You Teach, But How You Teach

10 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2020

See all articles by George Orlov

George Orlov

Cornell University

Douglas McKee

Cornell University

James Berry

University of Delaware - Economics

Austin Boyle

Penn State; Florida State University - Department of Economics

Thomas DiCiccio

Cornell University

Tyler Ransom

University of Oklahoma; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Alex Rees-Jones

Cornell University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Joerg Stoye

Cornell University

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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.

Keywords: economic education, pedagogical methods, higher education, COVID-19

JEL Classification: A22, I23

Suggested Citation

Orlov, George and McKee, Douglas and Berry, James and Boyle, Austin and DiCiccio, Thomas and Ransom, Tyler and Rees-Jones, Alex and Stoye, Joerg, Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic: It is Not Who You Teach, But How You Teach. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13813, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3722393

George Orlov (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States

Douglas McKee

Cornell University ( email )

James Berry

University of Delaware - Economics ( email )

Newark, DE 19716
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/econjimberry/

Austin Boyle

Penn State ( email )

505 Kern Graduate Building
University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States

Florida State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Tallahassee, FL 30306-2180
United States

Thomas DiCiccio

Cornell University

Tyler Ransom

University of Oklahoma ( email )

729 Elm Avenue
Norman, OK 73019-2103
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Alex Rees-Jones

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.alexreesjones.com

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Joerg Stoye

Cornell University

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