The effect of the relaxation of a cheating inhibitor on online exam scores

Lengthening time for exam access in a criminology course


  • Dr. Steven Stack, PhD Wayne State University


The present investigation performs the first quasi experimental study of the effect of the removal of a key cheating inhibitor, brief time for access to the exam,  on exam scores.  METHODS.  Data are based on an online criminology course.  A control group took the exams at a set time and had access for one hour or less. In contrast, the experimental group were allowed to take the exam whenever they wanted, increasing opportunities for collaborative cheating.  Controls include academic ability and gender. RESULTS: Controlling for the other variables, students in the experimental group scored significantly higher on the standardized final exam  than the students in the control group.    The model explained 48% of the variance in test scores.  CONCLUSION. The results are consistent with the thesis that the greater the time to access an online exam, the greater the opportunities for collaborative cheating, and the higher the exam scores. 






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