As online learning is becoming very popular in formal educational settings and in individual development, online exams are starting to be recognized as one of the more efficient assessment methods. Online exams are effective in either blended or traditional forms of learning, and, when appropriately used, bring benefits to both learners and the learning process. However, learners’ perceptions of online exams in developing countries have not been widely studied despite the potential of such research for contributing to more effective use of online exams in these countries. Thus, this study served two purposes. First, it aimed to investigate students’ perceptions of online exams at a state university in Turkey, and at a state university in Kyrgyzstan. Second, the study compared the results. Structured as a mixed study, the research was conducted during the 2018-2019 fall term. The participants were 370 undergraduate students taking first-year courses online. Quantitative data considered learners’ perception scores gathered via a survey, whereas qualitative data considered learners’ opinions in response to an open-ended question. According to the quantitative analysis, learners’ perceptions differed according to gender, major, and prior online course experience variables. In addition, Turkish and Kyrgyz learners differed in that Turkish learners found online exams less stressful and more reliable and fairer than traditional paper-based exams when compared with their Kyrgyz counterparts. The qualitative analysis provided important results for future planning in both institutions.
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