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ERIC Number: EJ1179630
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2472-5749
Comparing Student Performance on Proctored and Non-Proctored Exams in Online Psychology Courses
Daffin, Lee William, Jr.; Jones, Ashley A.
Online Learning, v22 n1 p131-145 2018
As online education becomes a more popular and permanent option for obtaining an education after high school, it also raises questions as to the academic rigor of such classes and the academic integrity of the students taking the classes. The purpose of the current study is to explore the integrity issue and to investigate student performance on online examinations. Utilizing a sample of about 1,700 students who took online psychology classes of varying difficulty at Washington State University from spring 2015 to spring 2016, we found that students performed 10-20% better and took about twice as long on non-proctored versus proctored exams. The effect held when we compared our in-house proctoring service used during this time against ProctorU, used for one semester in fall 2012. To ensure the most robust design possible, we also rotated the proctored exam in each class at least once and then compared performance on an exam when it was proctored versus when the same exam was non-proctored. Results showed better performance when the exam was non-proctored than when it was proctored. Finally, since instructors changed over the four semesters our study ran, we wanted to ensure that the results were not due to differences in teaching style. This potential confounding variable was eliminated. We discuss possible reasons for the difference in performance, to include student academic misconduct, and offer suggestions for ensuring we have both academic rigor and integrity in online courses.
Online Learning Consortium, Inc. P.O. Box 1238, Newburyport, MA 01950. Tel: 888-898-6209; Fax: 888-898-6209; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A