Xuehan Zhou is a third-year doctoral student at the University of California, Irvine, where she focuses on improving learning outcomes for students. Zhou’s research interests include economics of education, higher education policy, teacher effectiveness, peer effects, and online learning.
Zhou is using quantitative research methods to study the impacts of educational interventions, programs, and instructional practices on student course performance, persistence, and degree completion in community colleges. A recent working paper examines the impacts of fully online instruction compared with traditional face-to-face instruction on both concurrent developmental course outcomes and downstream outcomes.
In another project, Zhou is researching online instruction using open-ended survey data and a novel approach involving the structural topic model, which draws on recent developments in machine learning. One of her working papers aims to understand online course instructors’ and students’ perceptions of instructional practices that can better facilitate online teaching and learning in community colleges. Zhou is also interested in peer effects and is doing research to estimate how exposure to low-ability peers affects students’ own academic and social-emotional outcomes.