Performance gap among Brazilian Undergraduate Students in Online and Face-to-face Courses


  • MPGI

Área de conhecimento: 

  • Finanças e Contabilidade


  • Cesar Augusto Saito Shimura




With SARS-CoV-2 pushing many higher education institutions to experiment different teaching formats, online education is becoming a relevant topic in the educational field. In the last twenty years, online education has been contributing for the expansion of higher education in Brazil, constantly increasing the number of enrollments and courses offered in this modality. In 2018, for example, the number of vacancies offered in the online modality exceed the number of vacancies offered in traditional face-to-face (F2F) format. Based on this context, this study investigates the existence of a performance gap among Brazilian undergraduate students in online and F2F courses. In other words, the purpose of the study is to analyze the impact of taking an online course, instead a F2F one, on students’ performance. For the empirical analysis, the study considered 1,212,230 observations from the National Exam of Student Performance (ENADE), which is a Brazilian national exam that annually assess graduating students’ performance. By using a linear regression with fixed effects model, the study verifies that there is the performance gap among students in online and F2F courses. Even by controlling with different explanatory variables, Brazilian graduating students in online courses tend to have a lower performance. Additionally, the study also analyzes which student’s characteristics contributes for their performance. This research sheds light on how graduating students in online courses have been developing in the Brazilian post-secondary education, contributing for the debate of whether online education is equally effective for the development of undergraduate students.

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