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Sustainable Math Education of Female Students during a Pandemic: Online versus Face-to-Face Instruction

Hanadi Mohamed AbdelSalam (), Maura A. E. Pilotti () and Omar J. El-Moussa ()
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Hanadi Mohamed AbdelSalam: Department of Sciences and Human Studies, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, Dhahran 31952, Saudi Arabia
Maura A. E. Pilotti: Department of Sciences and Human Studies, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, Dhahran 31952, Saudi Arabia
Omar J. El-Moussa: Department of Student Affairs, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, Dhahran 31952, Saudi Arabia

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 21, 1-12

Abstract: The present study was driven by the assumption that a key feature of sustainable education is its ability to preserve standards of quality even amid unforeseen, potentially disruptive events. It asked whether students’ academic success in math general education courses differed between synchronous online (during the COVID-19 pandemic) and face-to-face (before the pandemic), under the ancillary assumption that computational competency, a pillar of sustainable education, shapes enduring success in a variety of professional fields. As the early identification of at-risk students and ensuing remedial interventions can bring about academic success, the study also investigated the predictive validity of students’ initial performance in online and face-to-face math courses. Two general education courses (introductory calculus and statistics), taught by the same instructor, were selected. Class grades did not differ between instructional modes, thereby providing no evidence for the widespread concern that the switch to the online mode had damaged learning. Yet, during the semester, test and homework performance were differentially sensitive to modes of instruction. Furthermore, both test and homework performance during the first half of the semester predicted class grades in online courses, whereas only test performance predicted class grades in face-to-face courses. These results suggest that sustainable math education in times of crisis is feasible and that educators’ consideration of the differential predictive value of test and homework performance may aid its attainment.

Keywords: sustainable education; online instruction; face-to-face instruction; Middle East (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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