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Jennjou Chen and Tsui-Fang Lin
''The benefit of providing face-to-face lectures in online learning microeconomics courses: Evidence from a regression discontinuity design experiment''
( 2016, Vol. 36 No.4 )
This paper explores the effect of attending face-to-face lectures on examination performance in online Intermediate Microeconomics courses using a regression discontinuity experimental approach. The instructor implemented a policy requiring students who scored below the class mean on the first exam to attend four face-to-face lectures before the second exam. The estimation results show that, on the average, attending face-to-face lectures does not improve online learning students' examination performance. However, for the group of students who did not or chose not to access online course materials, attending face-to-face lectures did produce a significant and positive effect on their grades. As revealed from this study, offering face-to-face lecture options to online learning students requires more resources but does not significantly improve students' examination performance. In order to enhance students learning particular for low performing students, a cost effective policy option might not be requiring students to attend face-to-face lectures but discovering ways to encourage or require students accessing pre-recorded lectures.
Keywords: online learning, face-to-face lecture, attendance, regression discontinuity
JEL: A2 - Economics Education and Teaching of Economics: General
Manuscript Received : Mar 27 2015 Manuscript Accepted : Nov 09 2016

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