Grit and Academic Resilience During the Covid-19 Pandemic

17 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2022

See all articles by Daniel L. Chen

Daniel L. Chen

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France

Seda Ertac

Koc University

Theodoros Evgeniou

INSEAD

Xin Miao

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ali Nadaf

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Emrah Yilmaz

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 5, 2022

Abstract

Grit, a non-cognitive skill that indicates perseverance and passion for long-term goals, has been shown to predict academic achievement. This paper provides evidence that grit also predicts student outcomes during the challenging period of the Covid-19 pandemic. We use a unique behavioral dataset from a digital learning platform in the United Arab Emirates to construct a new measure of grit. We find that controlling for baseline ability, students who were grittier according to this measure before the pandemic, register lower declines in math and science scores during the coronavirus period. Using machine learning, behavioral data in the platform prior to the pandemic can explain 77% of the variance in academic resilience. A survey measure of grit of the same students, on the other hand, does not have significant predictive power over performance changes. Our findings have implications for interventions on non-cognitive skills, as well as how data from digital learning platforms can be used to predict student behavior and outcomes, which we expect will be increasingly relevant as AI-based learning technologies become more common.

Keywords: Non-cognitive Skills, Remote Education, Academic Performance; Covid-19

Suggested Citation

Chen, Daniel L. and Ertac, Seda and Evgeniou, Theodoros and Miao, Xin and Nadaf, Ali and Yilmaz, Emrah, Grit and Academic Resilience During the Covid-19 Pandemic (January 5, 2022). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2022/02/DSC, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4001431 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4001431

Daniel L. Chen

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France ( email )

Toulouse School of Economics
1, Esplanade de l'Université
Toulouse, 31080
France

Seda Ertac

Koc University ( email )

Rumelifeneri Yolu
34450 Sar?yer
Istanbul, 34450
Turkey

Theodoros Evgeniou (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

Xin Miao

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ali Nadaf

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Emrah Yilmaz

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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