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Are Online Exams an Invitation to Cheat?


  • Oskar R. Harmon
  • James Lambrinos


In this study, the authors use data from two online courses in principles of economics to estimate a model that predicts exam scores from independent variables of student characteristics. In one course, the final exam was proctored, and in the other course, the final exam was not proctored. In both courses, the first three exams were unproctored. If no cheating took place, the authors expected the prediction model to have the same explanatory power for all exams, and, conversely, if cheating occurred in the unproctored exam, the explanatory power would be lower. Their findings are that both across and within class, variations in the R -squared statistic suggest that cheating was taking place when the exams were not proctored.

Suggested Citation

  • Oskar R. Harmon & James Lambrinos, 2008. "Are Online Exams an Invitation to Cheat?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(2), pages 116-125, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:39:y:2008:i:2:p:116-125 DOI: 10.3200/JECE.39.2.116-125

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Byron W. Brown & Carl E. Liedholm, 2002. "Can Web Courses Replace the Classroom in Principles of Microeconomics?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 444-448, May.
    2. Coates, Dennis & Humphreys, Brad R. & Kane, John & Vachris, Michelle A., 2004. ""No significant distance" between face-to-face and online instruction: evidence from principles of economics," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 533-546, October.
    3. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    4. Peter Navarro, 2000. "Economics in the Cyberclassroom," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 119-132, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:oup:revage:v:31:y:2009:i:3:p:640-652. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Oskar R. Harmon & James Lambrinos, 2006. "Online Format vs. Live Mode of Instruction: Do Human Capital Differences or Differences in Returns to Human Capital Explain the Differences in Outcomes?," Working papers 2006-07, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    3. Mary Mathewes Kassis, 2011. "Distance Education: Course Development and Strategies for Success," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 14 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate


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