CEC Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Yair Levy

Committee Member

Laurie P. Dringus

Committee Member

Wei Li

Abstract

There have been growing concerns regarding the misuse of academic information systems such as misconduct within Web-based assessments. A number of studies have reported significant levels of deception and dishonesty within Web-based activities that are confined by a strict code of conduct. These have been noted to be facilitated through the unmonitored nature of Web-based assessments where users have the opportunity to collaborate or utilize unauthorized resources during the assessment. Studies from criminology that utilize deterrence theory have reported that video surveillance can be useful in deterring misconduct. As such, this study explored the use of Webcam based surveillance during Web-based assessments as a potential countermeasure to deter the misuse of these information systems.

The primary goal of this study was to investigate the deterrent effect of Webcam based proctoring on Information Systems (IS) misuse such as misconduct during Web-based assessments. Therefore, this study involved an experiment in which the results from an experimental group and a control group were examined. Both groups took the same set of Web-based assessments, with the only distinction being that one group was monitored by a Web-based proctor while the other was not monitored. The results of this study found no statistical significant difference between the scores of each group. However, there was a statistical significant difference between each group on the time taken to complete the Web-based assessments.

A post-experiment survey was also administered to help assess the level that participants admit about the perceived opportunity they had to collaborate and utilize unauthorized resources during the Web-based assessments. This further helped to determine the deterrent effect of Webcam based surveillance. The survey analysis indicated that those who were not monitored perceived to have experienced greater levels of opportunity to engage in misconduct than those who were monitored by a Web-based proctor.

This study is unique in its application of deterrence theory as well as its approach to the problem as other potential technology based solutions have focused on authentication and identity verification whereas this study seeks to address the problems of misconduct that occur after authentication. As such, contributions will be made to multiple domains regarding deterrence and surveillance within specific Web-based information systems. The results of this study may also provide practical guidance to academia and relevant industry experts particularly those involved with Web-based assessments.

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