The purpose of this study was to empirically examine the grade distributions of proctored and unproctored exams in an online learning environment. The authors statistically compared exam scores and time to complete exams for proctored and unproctored exams in two online courses. Student data were collected from an online section of introductory financial accounting and an online section of introductory managerial accounting. The findings suggest that proctored and unproctored exams are not equivalent. Accordingly, instructors should approach online testing thoughtfully if the intention is to maintain grade equivalency with traditional proctored examinations. These results have implications related to a range of topics including online pedagogy, online course design, grade inflation, and online grade equivalency.
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