Conference Papers and Presentations
*** Note: Only papers presented under NU affiliation are listed ***
Chiteng Kot, Felly. Academic Performance in Times of Disruption: The Impact of COVID-19 and of a Grading Policy Intervention. Paper presented at the European Association for Institutional Research Annual Forum, Berlin, Germany, September 08 - 11, 2021.
This study examines the extent to which taking classes during the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted academic performance. The study includes over 5700 undergraduate students who took classes at any point during a seven-semester period at Kazakhstan’s premier research university. Entropy balancing is used to construct treatment and control groups that are similar on observed background characteristics, and the Average Treatment Effect on the Treated is estimated to determine the impact of COVID-19 and of an optional grading policy intervention (introduced in response to the disruption) on end-of-semester GPA. Results suggest that taking courses during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a positive gain in semester GPA, as did switching course grades to the optional grading system.
Chiteng Kot, Felly. The Prevalence and Impact of Class Absenteeism in Engineering. Paper presented at the Association for Institutional Research Annual Forum, Denver, Colorado, May 28 - 31, 2019.
This study examines the prevalence and impact of class absenteeism among engineering under-graduate students at an elite research university in Kazakhstan. Attendance was tracked in almost every course offered during a three-year period, using magnetic card readers. An aggregate absenteeism rate was computed based on all courses taken in a given semester. Absenteeism rates averaged 27% during a three-year period, with significant variations by class level. We used multilevel modeling to examine the relationship between absenteeism (aggregated over the term) and semester grade point average (GPA). We found that absenteeism had an adverse impact on academic performance. The magnitude of this impact, however, depended on how far the student was in the program. On average, students in the lowest absenteeism quartile (least absent) had an average semester GPA that was 0.5, 0.6, and 1.3 standard deviations above the average GPA for students in the second, third, and fourth absenteeism quartiles respectively.
Chiteng Kot, Felly. Gap between Actual and Expected Time Allocation to Academic Activities and its Impact on Undergraduate Academic Performance. Paper presented at the European Association for Institutional Research Annual Forum, Budapest, Hungary, August 26 - 29, 2018.
This study uses survey data and administrative records collected over a three-year period to examine the gap between the amount of time students invested and the amount they were expected to invest in academic activities. The sample includes 2,232 first-year and final-year undergraduate students at an elite research university in Kazakhstan. The study measured time allocation gap in terms of the degree to which the total amount of time invested in academic activities fell short of the expected amount (class attendance and out-of-class study time combined), given the student’s credit load. The study found that, on average, undergraduate students (first and fourth year) allocated 35% less time to academic activities than expected under ECTS standards or 28% less time than expected under Carnegie standards. Using a quasi-experimental research design (propensity score matching), the study found that time allocation gap had a negative impact on undergraduate academic performance.
Chiteng Kot, Felly. Bridge Program Participation and Undergraduate Academic Performance. Paper presented at the Association for Institutional Research Annual Forum, Orlando, Florida, May 29 - June 01, 2018.
Academic preparation plays a key role in students’ transition to and progression through post-secondary education. Yet, many students enter post-secondary education without the knowledge/skills needed to succeed academically. To close the gap in academic preparation and facilitate secondary school graduates’ transition to higher education, many institutions around the world have implemented preparatory programs also known as “foundation” or “bridge” programs. This study uses a quasi-experimental design (propensity score matching) to examine whether or not there is a difference in academic performance between students who were admitted to undergraduate programs directly (without completing a bridge program) and those who completed a one-year bridge program. The study tracked students’ academic performance for up to seven semesters at an elite research university in Kazakhstan. After correcting for selection bias and adjusting for student characteristics, the study found that the relationship between undergraduate admission route (whether direct or through the one-year bridge program) depends on students’ field of study.