Business school grades, assessment scores, and course withdrawals in the Covid-19 pandemic

Engelhardt et al. / Journal of Education for Business / August 2022

The authors compared student performance before and during the Covid-19 pandemic using three course outcome measures: grades, scores on standardized course-specific assessment tests, and the incidence of dropping, withdrawing, or earning a grade of F. Across 10,000 observations and all business disciplines, grades trended higher throughout pandemic, although student performance on assessment tests and the incidence of failing or dropping remained unchanged. This suggests that universities and employers who use GPA as a screening tool should be cautious. First-year and first-generation students did significantly worse in online courses when compared to courses with some in-person element, suggesting that universities and instructors may need to devote academic support resources to these subgroups.