21st Century Assessment: Online Proctoring, Test Anxiety, and Student Performance

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The Bottom Line

Students who have high trait test anxiety peform worse on assessments; however, this effect is even more pronounced when the proctoring tool is online vs. in-person proctoring.

Research Summary

Assessments can often lead to test anxiety for students. Yet, little is known how online proctoring influences test anxiety and subsequent exam performance. This study examined 631 students to assess the effect of online proctoring on student test anxiety and assessment performance. Results indicate that students with high trait test anxiety perform worse than those with low trait test anxiety. More importantly, the authors find that this relationship is even stronger for those who took an online proctored exam compared to in-person live proctoring in a testing center.

Key Takeaways

1. Online Proctoring Negatively Affects Students With High Trait Test Anxiety 

Higher test trait anxiety is more strongly associated with lower exam scores when using online proctoring relative to in-person live proctoring in a testing center. 

2. Administrators and Instructors Need to Consider Student Experience in Online Assessments

Students should not be at a disadvantage based on assessment administration methods.

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