A Synopsis of Online Testing Integrity in a General Education Math Course: A Correlational Study

Daris William Howard


Online education is expected to grow, bringing new challenges.  One of the biggest challenges concerns the validity of online assessments.  Questions arise about cheating, including whether or not the person taking the assessments is the student registered for the course.  Studies have tried to determine the amount of cheating in online assessments using student self-reporting.  Concern about the validity of these studies has led to quantitative studies attempting to determine the level of cheating in online classes by comparing unproctored online classes against proctored classes.  This quantitative quasi-experimental study uses such an approach, comparing test scores and the amount of time online unproctored students spend on exams against test scores and the amount of time spent on exams by students proctored in a testing center and by students proctored online using software.  The data for each of the three groups, online-unproctored, testing-center-proctored, and software-proctored, were collected for each of the three unit exams, with data samples over 1,000 for each group on each test.  The means of the exam scores of the unproctored online students were similar to the means of the exam scores of the other two groups, but the means for the amount of time the unproctored online students spent on the exams were significantly greater than were the means of the time spent by students in the either of the other two groups.  The increased amount of time spent by the unproctored students likely indicated students looked up answers during the tests.


online education, academic integrity, online testing, proctoring software, testing-center proctoring, cheating, testing validation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v24i4.2148

Copyright (c) 2020 Daris William Howard

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/