Cheating in Online Courses: Evidence from Online Proctoring

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The Bottom Line

Online proctoring significantly reduces average exam scores compared to unproctored online exams. These results suggest that in the absence of online proctoring, there is a higher level of cheating.

Research Summary

The main research question in this study explored whether or not the introduction of online proctoring via a webcam recording software influenced online exam performance. Based on 648 students at a university in the United States results indicate that online proctoring reduced exam performance by 10 to 20 percent across all exams studied. This study also finds that a student’s ability and maturity are stronger predictors of exam performance in proctored exams relative to unproctored exams, thereby providing further support that unproctored exams place noncheaters at a disadvantage compared to cheaters.

Key Takeaways

1. Proctoring Appears Effective

Proctoring appears to be more effective at mitigating cheating compared to other non-proctoring mitigation methods.

2. Non-Proctoring Methods Are Compliments Not Supplements

Non-proctoring mitigating cheating methods should be considered as complements rather than supplements for proctoring.

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