Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of the Use of Online Examinations in an Open and Distance Learning Environment





electronic devices, online distance learning (ODL);, online examination, students’ perceptions


This phenomenological study explored undergraduate students’ perceptions of the usefulness and ease of using online examinations in relation to the practicality and security of those who enrolled for Teaching Mathematics in the FET Phase. The perception theory, which outlines positive and negative perceptions, was used to underpin this study. An interpretive paradigm was also used as the study employed a phenomenological qualitative research design. The study generated data from 12 students who participated in semi-structured telephone interviews. The findings of the study revealed both positive and negative perceptions of online examinations. Positive perceptions that made online examination pleasurable were cost saving and saving on travel time, writing at one’s own pace and space, submitting answer sheets online, getting immediate feedback, and writing online and offline. On the other hand, negative perceptions included difficulties in using the Invigilator App, noise pollution, network connectivity, and load shedding. The study suggests that students identify spaces where they can easily access a stable internet network with no noise pollution.


Adanir, A. G., R. İsmailova, A. Omuraliev, and G. Muhametjanova. 2020. “Learners’ Perceptions of Online Exams: A Comparative Study in Turkey and Kyrgyzstan.” International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning 21 (3): 1–17. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v21i3.4679. DOI: https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v21i3.4679

Alsadoon, H. 2017. “Students’ Perceptions of E-assessment at Saudi Electronic University.” TOJET: The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology 16 (1): 147–153. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1124924.

Ashri, D., and B. Sahoo. 2021. “Open Book Examination and Higher Education during Covid-19: Case of the University of Delhi.” Journal of Educational Technology System 50 (1): 73–86. https://doi.org/10.1177/0047239521013783. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0047239521013783

Ayo, C. K., I. O. Akinyemi, A. A. Adebiyi, and U. O. Ekong. 2007. “The Prospects of E-examination Implementation in Nigeria.” Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education 8 (4): 125–134.

Bayazit, A., and P. Aşkar. 2011. “Performance and Duration Differences between Online and Paper-pencil Tests.” Asia Pacific Education Review 13 (2): 219–226. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12564-011-9190-9. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12564-011-9190-9

Bengtsson, L. 2019. “Take-home Exams in Higher Education: A Systematic Review.” Education Sciences 9 (267): 1–16. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040267. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040267

Broadbent, D. E. 1958. Perception and Communication. Pergamon Press. https://doi.org/10.1037/10037-000. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/10037-000

Churchill, S. D. 2021. Essentials of Existential Phenomenological Research. American Psychological Research: in press, 1–67. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000257-000. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0000257-000

Coughlan, S., T. Miller, and J. Paterson. 2021. “A Good Proctor or ‘Big Brother?’ Ethics of Online Exam Supervision Technologies.” Philos Technol 34 (4):1581–1606. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13347-021-00476-1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13347-021-00476-1

Creswell, J. W., and J. D. Creswell. 2018. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Fifth edition. Los Angeles, SAGE.

Davis, F. 1989. “Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and User Acceptance of Information Technology.” MIS Quarterly 13 (3): 319–340. https://doi.org/10.2307/249008. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/249008

Elgalil, H. M., F. E. El-Hakam, I. M. Farrag, S. R. Abdelmohsen, and H. Elkolaly. 2022. “Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of Online Assessment during Covid-19 Pandemic at Faculty of Medicine for Girls, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt.” Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2022.2037450. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2022.2037450

Eurboonyanum, C., J. Wittayapairorch, P. Aphinives, E. Petrusa, D. W. Gee, and R. Phitayakorn. 2020. “Adaption to Open-book Online Examination during the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Journal of Surgical Education 78 (3): 737–739. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsurg.2020.08.046. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsurg.2020.08.046

Farzin, S. 2016. “Attitude of Students Towards E-examination System: An Application of E-learning.” Management Science and Information Technology 1 (2): 20–25.

Fawns, T., and S. Schaepken. 2022. “A Matter of Trust: Online Proctored Exams and the Integration of Technologies of Assessment in Medical Education.” Teaching and Learning in Medicine: An International Journal 34 (4): 444–453. https://doi.org/10.1080/10401334.2022.2048832. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10401334.2022.2048832

Lincoln, Y. S., and E. G. Guba. 1985. Naturalistic Inquiry. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/0147-1767(85)90062-8. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0147-1767(85)90062-8

Hiwarkar, M., and O. Taywade. 2019. “Assessment of Knowledge, Attitude and Skills towards E-learning in First Year Medical Students.” Int J Res Med Sci 7 (11): 4119–4123. https://doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20194977. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20194977

Hubler, S. 2020. “Keeping Online Testing Honest? Or an Orwellian Overreach?” New York Times. Accessed May 20, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/10/us/online-testingcheating-universities-co.

Ilgaz, H., and G. A. Adanir. 2020. “Providing Online Exams for Online Learners: Does it Matter for them?” Education and Information Technologies 25: 1255–1269. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-019-10020-6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-019-10020-6

Irwanto. 2002. Psikologi Umum. Jakarta: PT Prenhallindo.

Iwu, C. G. 2019. “Socioeconomic Implications of Examination Fraud and Assessment Irregularities in South Africa’s Higher Education Sector: A Futuristic View.” Journal of Social and Development Sciences 10 (3): 39–47. https://doi.org/10.22610/jsds.v10i3(S).2984. DOI: https://doi.org/10.22610/jsds.v10i3(S).2984

Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC). 2010. “Effective Assessment in a Digital Age. A JISC Report.” Accessed April 12, 2018. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/e-learning/digiassass_eada.pdf.

Karim, N. A., and Z. Shukur. 2016. “Proposed Features of an Online Examination Interface Design and its Optimal Values.” Computers in Human Behavior 64: 414–422. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.07.013. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.07.013

Lee, K., and M. Fanguy. 2022. “Online Exam Proctoring Technologies: Educational Innovation or Deterioration?” British Journal of Educational Technology 53: 475–490. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.13182. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.13182

Nguyen, Q., B. Rienties, L. Toetenel, R. Ferguson, and D. Whitelock. 2017. “Examining the Designs of Computer-based Assessment and its Impact on Student Engagement, Satisfaction, and Pass Rates.” Computers in Human Behavior 76: 703–714. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.03.028. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.03.028

Nicol, D. 2007. “E-assessment by Design: Using Multiple-choice Tests to Good Effect. Journal of Further and Higher Education 31 (1): 53–64. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03098770601167922

Nigam, A., R. Pasricha, T. Singh, and P. Chri. 2021. “A Systematic Review on Al-based Proctoring Systems: Past, Present and Future.” Education and Information Technologies 26: 6421–6445. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-021-10597-x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-021-10597-x

Safe Exam Browser. 2020. About, Overview. Safe Exam Browser. https://safeexambrowser.org/about_overview_en.html.

Sarrayrih, M. A., and M. Ilyas. 2013. “Challenges of Online Exam, Performances and Problems for Online University Exam.” International Journal of Computer Science Issues (IJCSI) 10 (1): 439–443. http://ijcsi.org/papers/IJCSI-10-1-1-439-443.pdf.

Shraim, K. 2019. “Online Examination Practices in Higher Education Institutions: Learners’ Perspectives.” Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education 20 (4): 185–196. https://doi.org/10.17718/tojde.640588. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17718/tojde.640588

Singh, K., S. Srivastav, A. Bhardwaj, A. Dixit, and S. Misra. 2020. “Medical Education during the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Single Institution Experience.” Indian Pediatrics 57 (7): 678–679. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13312-020-1899-2. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13312-020-1899-2

Strielkowski, W. 2020. “Covid-19 Pandemic and the Digital Revolution in Academia and Higher Education.” Preprints, 2020040290. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints202004.0290.v1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints202004.0290.v1

Thalib, S. 2010. Psikologi Pendidikan Berbasis Analisis Empiris Aplikatif. Jakarta: Prenada Media Group.

Thoha, M. 2003. Perilaku Organisasi, Konsep Dasar dan Aplikasi. Jakarta: PT Raja Grafindo Persada.

Williams, B. J., and A. Wong. 2009. “The Efficacy of Final Examination: A Comparative Study of Closed-book, Invigilated Exams and Open-book, Open-web Exams.” Br. J. Educ. Technol. 40: 227–236. [CrossRef]. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2008.00929.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2008.00929.x




How to Cite

Makgakga, Tšhegofatšo Phuti. “Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of the Use of Online Examinations in an Open and Distance Learning Environment”. Progressio, 14 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/2663-5895/12541.



Themed Section 1
Received 2022-11-07
Accepted 2023-10-05
Published 2023-10-27