Home > Education, Microeconomics > Another Good Thing About On-Line Education

Another Good Thing About On-Line Education

As much as I like teaching students in person, I am also a big fan of online education, for many reasons.

Here’s another one: it reduces grade discrimination based on attractiveness.

Professors differ on how much their grading should be based on tests, written assignments, labs, class participation and other factors.

But students’ looks? Most faculty members would deny that physical appearance is a legitimate criterion in grading. But a study presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association finds that — among similarly qualified female students — those who are physically attractive earn better grades than others. For male students, there is no significant relationship between attractiveness and grades. And the results hold true whether the faculty member is a man or a woman.

But not for online education:

The researchers then took advantage of Metro State’s significant online offerings, which appeal to many students who also take courses in person. Comparing similar groups of students, the study found that the grade punishment for unattractive women disappears in online education….The online success of the less attractive students suggests, the paper says, that their lower grades in in-person classes can’t be attributed to some factor that might make them legitimately earn lower grades.

 

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Categories: Education, Microeconomics
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