Students’ academic performance and learning modalities: A case study for the online and face-to-face learning at the Universidad Nacional during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the unprecedented health crisis associated with COVID-19 and the associated restrictions, many universities have been faced with the difficult decision to shut down and suspend face-to-face teaching and rapidly adapt their approach to learning through online course delivery and streaming. While improved digital technology has enabled virtual classrooms and considerably changed the delivery of undergraduate teaching, in many high educational institutions (like Universidad Nacional de Colombia ), such changes have not entirely been adopted for graduate or undergraduate programs. In consequence, this research project aims to study how the challenges associated with a rapid transition to online teaching and learning could affect the achievements of undergraduate students in terms of their academic performance. To do that, we propose studying the case of Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal), one of the most important universities in Colombia and Latin America. For the UNal (Bogota campus) case, a preliminary statistical analysis points out potential negative effects during the pandemic in terms of the number of cancellations of courses and mixed effects on final grades. Thus, this research pretends to provide a first insight into the student’s academic performance at the UNal (tbd) during the pandemic and compare these findings with a control group of students at the same courses years before the pandemic. In particular, taking a sample of undergraduate courses, we will study differences between the students’ course grades and the number of students who cancel the course, from previous years to the pandemic (2018-2019) and the same lectures delivered in emergency remote teaching (2020-2021). By making this contrast, we may connect differences in academic performance due to differences in teaching modalities, particularly online versus face-to-face teaching. Measuring the effects of teaching modalities on students' academic performance has been the core for much of the recent studies on the impacts of the pandemic in higher education. However, we also plan to investigate if students' gaps in academic records have increased during the pandemic. The methodology we propose to conduct this research is based on an in-depth review of available data at the UNal and the implementation of state-of-the-art techniques to measure impacts in quasi-experimental designs. The scope of the research will also depend on the quality of data we may extract from available sources. We believe this research may contribute to understanding the effects of teaching modalities in higher education and help guide the policy at these institutions to respond in states of emergency.
Modalidad:Modalidad Única