The impact of proctored online exams on the educational experience

Anna S. Milone, Angela M. Cortese, Rebecca L. Balestrieri, Amy L Pittenger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Purpose This study explored new ways to maintain academic integrity for large enrollment, completely online courses. We examined the use of ProctorU as our proctoring strategy with the objectives to identify any implementation challenges and understand the impact of using an online proctor on the student experience. Methods In fall 2013, students were surveyed after each exam. Based on these preliminary findings, ProctorU-related questions were included in the course evaluation administered in spring 2014. A mixed-methods analysis plan was used to examine the results, including quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis of open-ended survey questions. Results In the fall 2013 surveys, 88.95% of students reported being satisfied with their experience using ProctorU. Of those who were unsatisfied, following three emerging themes were identified: took too long to setup, technical difficulties, and personnel issues with proctors. In the spring 2014 course evaluation data, the majority of students rated the experience “good” (57.53%), but a large number of those same students also commented on issues they encountered. Over half of the students indicated that the use of ProctorU would influence their future decision to take another online course, either negatively or positively. Conclusions The question of how to maintain academic integrity with online courses is still an ongoing question, but this project demonstrates that online proctoring does influence the educational experience in ways that must be considered when determining the risk and benefit balance of proctored and unproctored assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-114
Number of pages7
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Academic integrity
  • Distance education
  • Online learning
  • Pharmacy
  • Proctoring


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