e-Authentication for online assessment: A mixed-method study

Okada, Alexandra; Whitelock, Denise; Holmes, Wayne and Edwards, Chris (2019). e-Authentication for online assessment: A mixed-method study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(2) pp. 861–875.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12608


Authenticating the students’ identity and authenticity of their work is increasingly important to reduce academic malpractices and for quality assurance purposes in Education. There is a growing body of research about technological innovations to combat cheating and plagiarism. However, the literature is very limited on the impact of e-authentication systems across distinctive end-users because it is not a widespread practice at the moment. A considerable gap is to understand whether the use of e-authentication systems would increase trust on e-assessment, and to extend, whether students’ acceptance would vary across gender, age and previous experiences. This study aims to shed light on this area by examining the attitudes and experiences of 328 students who used an authentication system known as adaptive trust-based e-assessment system for learning (TeSLA). Evidence from mixed-method analysis suggests a broadly positive acceptance of these e-authentication technologies by distance education students. However, significant differences in the students’ responses indicated, for instance, that men were less concerned about providing personal data than women; middle-aged participants were more aware of the nuances of cheating and plagiarism;while younger students were more likely to reject e-authentication, considerably due to data privacy and security and students with disabilities due to concerns about their special needs.

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