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Can we stay one step ahead of cheaters? A field experiment in proctoring online open book exams

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  • Vazquez, Jose J.
  • Chiang, Eric P.
  • Sarmiento-Barbieri, Ignacio

Abstract

As more institutions of higher learning expand their offerings of online courses, the use of online assessments has become an important topic of discussion. Although the use of online assessments can be very beneficial, instances of cheating in the absence of a proctor poses a cost in protecting academic integrity. This has led to the development of many proctoring solutions to address this challenge. This paper presents two field experiments used to analyze the effects of proctoring methods on exam scores: one involving a face-to-face class and the other involving an online class. Also, two proctoring methods were used: live proctors and web-based proctors. In each class, best practices were used to minimize cheating and students were informed in advance which exams were proctored. Our results show that students whose exams were not proctored scored over 11% higher on average than those whose exams were proctored. However, the results varied significantly: the use of live proctors in the face-to-face class had a much larger effect on test scores than web-based proctors in the online class. We compare variables affecting each testing environment to uncover possible determinants, including the ease of collaboration, test anxiety, and information sharing over the testing period.

Suggested Citation

  • Vazquez, Jose J. & Chiang, Eric P. & Sarmiento-Barbieri, Ignacio, 2021. "Can we stay one step ahead of cheaters? A field experiment in proctoring online open book exams," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:90:y:2021:i:c:s2214804320306960
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2020.101653
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Belot, Michèle & van de Ven, Jeroen, 2019. "Is dishonesty persistent?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
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    Cited by:

    1. Klijn, Flip & Mdaghri Alaoui, Mehdi & Vorsatz, Marc, 2022. "Academic integrity in on-line exams: Evidence from a randomized field experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 93(C).
    2. Salim Al-Hashmi, 2023. "Did they really Work? English Teachers’ Attitude towards the Effectiveness of Remote Online Exams in Times of Emergencies," English Language Teaching, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 16(12), pages 1-27, December.
    3. Dench, Daniel & Joyce, Theodore, 2022. "Information and credible sanctions in curbing online cheating among undergraduates: A field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 195(C), pages 408-427.
    4. Hill, Andrew J. & LoPalo, Melissa, 2024. "The effects of online vs in-class testing in moderate-stakes college environments," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Academic integrity; Cheating; Online learning; Personality traits;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate

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