The Covid-19 Pandemic Is a Lousy Natural Experiment for Studying the Effects of Online Learning

The Covid-19 Pandemic Is a Lousy Natural Experiment for Studying the Effects of Online Learning

The Covid-19 pandemic that prompted a nationwide shutdown of schools and a shift to online instruction in spring 2020 also prompted a wave of articles calling this instructional change a “natural experiment” that could be used to study the effects of online education. Yet the pandemic disrupted so many aspects of children’s academic, social, emotional, and economic lives that its broad scope poses serious challenges to isolating the causal impact of any specific change, such as the switch to remote instruction. WEPC’s Andrew Bacher-Hicks and Joshua S. Goodman write their recommendations for policymakers and educators on how to approach such studies. 

Policy Brief

COVID-19-Induced Online Learning Engagement in Real Time

Working Paper

Covid-Induced Online Learning Engagement in Real Time