Online Learning Update

September 20, 2018

Adjunct instructors can cause lower grades for students

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

by James Paterson, Education Dive
Community colleges rely heavily on adjunct professors, but new research suggests that the part-time instructors may adversely affect student performance at two-year institutions, particularly in STEM and health field courses. Research conducted by Di Xu, an assistant professor of educational policy at the University of California, Irvine, shows that while students having an adjunct instructor got better grades in introductory courses, they were more likely to drop subsequent courses in the field of study or get, on average, 4% lower grades than if they were instructed by a full-time faculty member. The research notes that the use of adjuncts is greatest at community colleges, which play “a critical role in addressing the national equity agenda by disproportionately serving underrepresented groups.”

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