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Evaluating the potential impact of online assessment on students' academic performance

Ellis L.C. Osabutey (Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK)
P.K. Senyo (Department of Decision Analytics and Risk, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Bernard F. Bempong (Department of Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 27 December 2022

Issue publication date: 9 January 2024




With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, online assessment has become the dominant mode of examination in higher education institutions. However, there are contradictory findings on how students perceive online assessment and its impact on their academic performance. Thus, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential impact of online assessment on students' academic performance.


This study proposes a research model based on the task–technology fit theory and empirically validates the model using a survey from students in the UK. In addition, the study conducted four experiments based on paper-based and online assessments and analysed the data using paired sample t test and structural equation modelling.


The findings show that the use of online assessment has a positive impact on students' academic performance. Similarly, the results from the experiment also indicate that students perform better using online assessments than paper-based assessments.

Practical implications

The findings provide crucial evidence needed to shape policy towards institutionalising online assessment. In addition, the findings provide assurance to students, academics, administrators and policymakers that carefully designed online assessments can improve students' academic performance. Moreover, the study also provides important insights for curriculum redesign towards transitioning to online assessment in higher education institutions.


This study advances research by offering a more nuanced understanding of online assessment on students' academic performance since the majority of previous studies have offered contradictory findings. In addition, the study moves beyond existing research by complementing assessment results with the views of students in evaluating the impact of online assessment on their academic performance. Second, the study develops and validates a research model that explains how the fits between technology and assessment tasks influence students' academic performance. Lastly, the study provides evidence to support the wide use of online assessment in higher education.



Osabutey, E.L.C., Senyo, P.K. and Bempong, B.F. (2024), "Evaluating the potential impact of online assessment on students' academic performance", Information Technology & People, Vol. 37 No. 1, pp. 152-170.



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