At a recent meeting of our distance learning committee the question was raised whether our online courses should be delivered 100% asynchronously – that is, without any face-to-face or synchronous requirements. The flexibility and convenience that attracts students to the online course is somewhat diminished when there are synchronous requirements, the most common example being the proctored exam.
One of the concerns and rationales for maintaining the proctored exam in an online course is the perception that we can prevent cheating, and that cheating is more prevalent (or at least easier) in the online environment. Therefore we need to bring the students to campus (or the learning center) for their exams. Although I’m not aware of any evidence that shows cheating is more prevalent online than for testing in the classroom, there are various methods employed to prevent cheating, including making the tests more challenging by using larger question banks, randomization, shortening the time frame… even using special browsers or webcams to ensure the individual taking the test is actually the student enrolled in the class.
Full Text: Assessing Online Learning | Lakeland Learning Technologies.