As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all courses shifted to online teaching. This paper aimed to estimate the impact of online vs. face-to-face course delivery on students' Grade Point Average (GPA) and to find if there is any difference in students' GPA based on selected sociodemographic characteristics.


A cross-sectional design was used. A total of 3445 students enrolled in all faculties were included. Paired t-test, independent t, and ANOVA were used to answer research questions.


The online GPA was significantly higher than face-to-face GPAs among the total study population. The online GPAs for female students, students in middle years, and those from mainly theoretical fields or faculties were significantly higher than face-to-face GPAs.


This study found that online instruction improved the academic performance of some students at certain phases. Online teaching benefited female students, colleges offering largely theoretical knowledge (law, Islamic studies, social studies), and middle-year students. Health and medical faculties were less suited for entirely online instruction. This study proposes online teaching as a valid and effective teaching method equivalent to face-to-face teaching methods under specific criteria: Entirely in theoretical disciplines or as part of programs as standing modules in practical fields, Female and middle-years students, especially those taking theoretical courses. The study also recommends that online teaching is a valid possibility amid extreme weather, health, natural, or political situations. Finally, online teaching should be implemented continuously to prepare staff and students for the application of online teaching during emergencies.

Keywords: Academic performance, COVID 19, Face-to-Face, GPA, Online teaching, University students.
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