Online assessments are growing in popularity. Yet, we don’t fully understand the potentially negative or positive effects on students nor how instructors can minimize / maximize those effects.
The Covid19 pandemic has accelerated the use of online assessments. In an effort to ensure academic integrity, online assessments are often administered using online-proctoring tools. This study surveyed 541 students to understand their perceptions on using online proctoring systems. Results indicate that (1) students generally believe that their exam performance is worse when using online proctoring systems compared to face-to-face assessments, and (2) the majority of students believe that online proctoring negatively affects their concentration, attention, anxiety, and motivation. However, in a subsample of students with previous experience with online proctoring and who are also majoring in a discipline related to digital technology, negative perceptions are reduced but still substantial. These findings suggest that previous experience with online proctoring systems can help reduce some students negative perceptions with online proctoring but a considerable number of students still have a negative experience.
Increased Anxiety: 57% of students agreed
Decreased Exam Performance: 68.1% of students agreed
Decreased Concentration: 54.9% of students agreed
Students tend to believe they are performing worse and have increased levels of anxiety and poorer levels of concentration.
The negative effects associated with online-proctoring tools may be reduced as students gain experience with the technology but not completely eliminated.