Student acceptability of high-stakes e-assessment in dental education: Using privacy screen filters to control cheating

Michael P. Escudier, Jorge A. Tricio, Edward W. Odell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Acceptability is a required quality for a sound assessment. For students, acceptability of a test is strongly influenced by perception of fairness. Computer-based assessment has been reported to be preferred by students provided that strict controls to prevent cheating are in place. This may be difficult to achieve as e-assessments are often taken in learning environments where computer screens are close together. In this study, 138 Year 5 dental students completed an e-assessment followed by an on-screen post-assessment questionnaire about the acceptability, fairness, and effectiveness of using privacy screen filters installed in front of their monitors to prevent cheating. Ninety-one percent of students in this study considered that taking a summative e-assessment with privacy screen filters was acceptable, 86 percent expressed the view that filters contributed to a fairer test, and 54 percent reported the filters made it easier or did not make any difference to read the screen. In addition, 60 percent gave positive comments and feedback, mainly focused on prevention of cheating. These findings suggest that privacy filters, originally developed for data protection in banks, medicine, and business, have potential in e-assessment in higher education. They provide an effective way of hampering cheating and improve student acceptability and confidence in the fairness of computer-delivered assessments.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)558-566
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2014


  • Assessment
  • Cheating
  • Computer-based assessment
  • Dental education
  • Dental students
  • E-assessment
  • Privacy filters
  • United Kingdom


Dive into the research topics of 'Student acceptability of high-stakes e-assessment in dental education: Using privacy screen filters to control cheating'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this