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Effectiveness of Synchronous Online Learning Compared to Face-to-Face Learning Among Higher Education Students in Cambodia during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Casey Barnett and Yem Bunthorn
CamEd Business School

International Research Symposium
2021, pp. 79 – 90




The International Monetary Fund reported that global gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 3.5 percent in 2020 compared to positive growth of 2.8 percent in 2019 (International Monetary Fund [IMF], 2021). This economic loss means more people will suffer the effects of poverty. The economic loss is largely due to COVID and its effects which include safety measures such as restrictions on gatherings and movement. One safety measure implemented by countries has been the prohibition of face-to-face learning in schools. However, the closure of schools may have ongoing negative economic consequences for years to come. A study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates that “due to lost productivity, one year of lost primary and secondary school learning will result in an economic loss equivalent to 202 percent of future GDP” (Hanushek & Woessmann, 2020, p. 9). Empirical studies are showing that learning loss arising from school shutdowns is proportional to the duration of the shutdown. For example, a study of national exam results for approximately 350,000 students in the Netherlands found that an 8-week shutdown resulted in a learning loss equivalent to the same period of the shutdown (Engzell et al., 2021).

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Cite this article in APA 7

Barnett, C. & Yem, B. (2021). Effectiveness of synchronous online learning compared to face-to-face learning among higher education students in Cambodia during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Dash, T., R. & Charman, K., P. (Eds.), COVID-19: The economy and society. International Research Symposium (pp. 53 – 65). ALLIED PUBLISHERS PVT. LTD.

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