Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Do Students Perform Better in Online Delivery of Education? Evidence from Bangladesh

Hoque, Nazmul and Basher, Syed Abul and A.K. Enamul, Haque (2022): Do Students Perform Better in Online Delivery of Education? Evidence from Bangladesh.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced educational institutions in Bangladesh to adopt online technology for higher education in just a couple of months that, otherwise, would have taken years. This change creates a unique opportunity to examine student performance in online education. In this study, in addition to examining the effect of online education on student performance, we investigate if there is a systematic difference in grading. We use transcript-level academic records of Business and Economics students from one of the leading private universities in Bangladesh for pre-pandemic and pandemic periods. We use two-way fixed effects regression models to eliminate entity- and time-specific fixed effects that may bias our estimates. Student level grade points in online format are higher by about 0.208 (on a scale of 0 to 4). This increase in grade points in online format is driven by the poorly performing student. Course level estimates show that the average grade points increase by about 0.086 which comes from a narrower distribution. The reduction in variance in grade points may be the result of online collaboration among students, more lenient grading by the instructors due to the pandemic situation or because of using increased group activities for assessment. We also find the effect of online format on course level average grade points (AGP) decreases and the coefficient of variation (CV) increases as instructors gain experience indicating some learning effects.

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