Volume 11 Issue 2 (2022)

Did Home-Based Exams during COVID-19 Affect Student Ranking? A Case from a Business School

pp. 96-113  |  Published Online: June 2022  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2022.112.5

Leiv Opstad, Ivar Pettersen


Background/purpose – Home-based exams were introduced during COVID-19 with an open-book format and limited control over dishonest student behavior. Such exams were used in lieu of traditional, closed-book school-based exams as a necessity due to the pandemic. This article investigates whether or not students’ grades from home-based assessment exams differed from the grades they achieved in traditional school-based exams.

Materials/methods – Using administrative data from 2017 to 2020 from a business school in Norway, a quantitative approach that compared differences, correlation analysis, and regression models was applied in the study.

Results – By switching from school-based to home-based exams, students’ academic success during their second year of business school showed a smaller association with students’ outcomes from their first year. One interpretation is that skilled students achieved weaker performance in home-based exams.

Conclusion – Home-based exams without any control mechanisms appear to result in different student rankings. This knowledge may be useful for employers looking to hire applicants who graduated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19, home-based exam, business students, students’ performance


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