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The impact of proctored online assessments on academic attainment, student experience and wellbeing

Jones, Matthew; Namvar, Sara; Miklavc, Pika; Smyth, Lucy; Ferry, Natalie


Lucy Smyth


Online assessment is a widely utilised strategy for higher education assessment due to its numerous benefits for universities, academic staff, and students alike. However, it has been highlighted within the wider sector that this approach leads to grade inflation and potentially devalues students’ degrees. This is due to students completing exams in groups or as open-book exams meaning that student knowledge is not adequately tested via this approach. To mitigate this, the implementation of invigilation of online assessments using a system known as proctoring has been suggested. Proctoring software, such as Proctorio, actively records key examinee information to detect potential academic misconduct. As a part of a university trial, proctoring was implemented mid-academic year, allowing for direct comparison between unproctored and proctored assessments. This study aims to evaluate the impact of proctoring implementation on academic attainment, student experience, and well-being.

The implementation of proctoring significantly decreased average grades and produced a left-hand shift in grade distributions for all modules where it was utilised. This was found to bring grades back in line with university and sector-wide standards, thus mitigating grade inflation. Student surveys highlighted that proctoring is simple to utilise, however, approximately a quarter of respondents reported technical difficulties during the exam period. Students believed that proctoring negatively impacted their academic performance and experience but thought it ensured exam conditions and minimised academic misconduct. This shows proctoring is beneficial for minimising grade inflation, however, has negative impacts on student experience and well-being.


Jones, M., Namvar, S., Miklavc, P., Smyth, L., & Ferry, N. (2023, September). The impact of proctored online assessments on academic attainment, student experience and wellbeing. Poster presented at LTEC Festival of Learning and Teaching 2023, University of Salford, UK

Presentation Conference Type Poster
Conference Name LTEC Festival of Learning and Teaching 2023
Conference Location University of Salford, UK
Start Date Sep 4, 2023
End Date Sep 5, 2023
Deposit Date Jun 12, 2024
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