Did Covid-19 restrictions in higher education affect students’ performances? Evidence from an Italian university.


  • Maria Michela Dickson University of Trento
  • Giuseppe Espa University of Trento
  • Diego Giuliani
  • Diego Giuliani
  • Rocco Micciolo




Covid-19; higher education; distance learning; students’ performance.


The 2020 year has been characterized by an unprecedented epidemic that has involved all countries in the world. The Covid-19 emergency is having a strong impact on all aspects of everyday life, including services to education. The shift to emergency remote teaching in the spring of 2020 has had a strong impact on training procedures, with the consequent readjustment both in methods of teaching and in learning approaches. A natural research question concerns the impact on students’ performance, as measured by exam scores, of the face-to-face teaching suspension. In order to understand the effects of the sudden transition to emergency remote teaching, in the present work a through comparison has been carried out between the outcomes of the exams taken by all students of a medium-sized University in Italy before and after the occurrence of Covid-19 pandemic. Results may be helpful in understanding advantages and limitations of distance learning, which seems to have become a new standard in the present and near future.