A Rapid Review of Remote Exam Proctoring and Student Mental Health

A Rapid Review of Remote Exam Proctoring and Student Mental Health

What is this Research About?

Researchers have long been concerned with academic integrity and misconduct. Research indicates that students cheat because they have poor time management skills, fear failure, have anxiety from pressure to perform well, and/or do not understand misconduct. Students' ability to cheat has increased since the increase in online learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, researchers reviewed research and newspaper articles that examined the impacts of COVID-19 on student academic integrity and mental health, specifically from the use of e-proctoring.

What did the Researchers Do?

The researchers conducted a rapid review method of finding the effects of e-proctoring examinations on student mental health by collecting and analyzing sources of existing evidence. They limited their findings to relevant papers that have been written since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, including scholarly articles and newspaper articles. The researchers found their sources using the search terms, COVID-19, academic integrity, mental health, and other closely related words. The researchers then compiled and analyzed nine articles related to COVID-19, academic integrity, and mental health.

What did the Researchers Find?

The researchers found that most published articles suggest that the use of remotely proctored exams is associated with student stress and anxiety, but further research is needed. In the articles, students described being uncomfortable with the loss of privacy in their home. The articles described students reacting with anger, anxiety, crying, or vomiting during an exam since they could not leave their room to calm down. Combining the general stress of a global pandemic with the extra complications of proctoring exams, the authors suggest that student mental health is at risk.

→ How to Implement this Research in Your Classroom

The recency of the COVID-19 pandemic makes it difficult to find research on the effects that online learning has on student mental health. Although preliminary research and media suggests that the use of e-proctoring has a negative impact on student mental health, the long-term effects are unknown. More research on the effects of remote proctoring on student mental health is urgently needed. Professors are encouraged to support students during this difficult time by doing what they can to decrease student stress.

→  Citation

Eaton, E. S., & Turner, L. K. (2020). Exploring academic integrity and mental health during COVID-19: Rapid review. Journal of Contemporary Education Theory & Research, 4 (1), 35-41, https: doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2019.2.8200

→  Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Academic integrity
  • E-proctoring
  • Mental health
  • Stress
  • Anxiety

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Snapshot Writer: Jessica Castell

Snapshot Publication Date: 2021