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Online and face‐to‐face learning: Evidence from students’ performance during the Covid‐19 pandemic

Carolyn Chisadza, Matthew Clance, Thulani Mthembu, Nicky Nicholls and Eleni Yitbarek ()

African Development Review, 2021, vol. 33, issue S1, S114-S125

Abstract: This study investigates the factors that predict students' performance after transitioning from face‐to‐face to online learning as a result of the Covid‐19 pandemic. It uses students' responses from survey questions and the difference in the average assessment grades between pre‐lockdown and post‐lockdown at a South African university. We find that students' performance was positively associated with good wifi access, relative to using mobile internet data. We also observe lower academic performance for students who found transitioning to online difficult and who expressed a preference for self‐study (i.e. reading through class slides and notes) over assisted study (i.e. joining live lectures or watching recorded lectures). The findings suggest that improving digital infrastructure and reducing the cost of internet access may be necessary for mitigating the impact of the Covid‐19 pandemic on education outcomes.

Date: 2021
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