Precautions to Minimize Cheating in Online Training
Do you test online from remote locations? When examinees are at different locations, how are you sure of the identity of the person giving the test? How do you know whether they cheat or not? How do you prevent fraud? Do you hesitate to answer these questions? Well, don’t panic!
The first resort, awaken the human conscience
This is an age old trick. You can tell your users how cheating benefits no one and amounts to fraud. Tell them about all the policies so that they know that if caught, they will have to leave the course midway. It’s important that your users know that you care and want them to care about the academic integrity too.
Unfortunately, this still leaves a lot of scope to cheat in online testing because people tend to surrender to distractions.
Here’s how you can minimize the possibilities of cheating. A blend of smart customization and intelligent design is all you need.
Bind your user by time
Bind your students by the time limit. If someone relies on cheating, they will have to go through course material over and over. They will struggle with not having sufficient time. A set time limit leaves no scope to wander for answers. This will eventually leave no room for cheating. Instead of running out of time, they’ll make efforts to prepare themselves for the test adequately.
Go random. Add multiple formats
Shuffle questions and answers for each user. This is one of the easiest way to prevent cheating. You can create a common question bank with an extensive list and then play with formats. Think different MCQs, Essays, et al. This way, no two quizzes will be same because the testing system would deliver a different subset of questions from the bank to every student. Even if the questions are identical, the order will be different. All the best to the users who wanna chicken out and cheat!
Pump up the difficulty quotient
MCQs, true or false etc are for dummies. They neither test the user’s knowledge, nor consume much time. Build your quiz for checking the understanding and knowledge of users rather than sufficing some score standards. Add trick questions, diagrams, audios, and videos. Include questions that makes the examinee think and reason. This not only reduces scope to cheat but forces students to understand the topic in entirety.
Defunct the system
Lock it down! You can choose specific computer functions and make them non-functional to prevent cheating. For instance, you can lock the browser, disable mouse right-click, freeze the screen etc. This will not let the user switch windows or share screen. The students will be restricted to the test screen, won’t be able to copy and take screenshots during the test.
Know thy patterns
This is a bit tricky. To verify students’ identity, one of the options is keystroke monitoring. It would require you to conduct a typing exercise for your students in advance, and the testing system will analyze their typing style. Keystroke monitoring accurately confirms the identity of students by matching patterns of keyboard pressure, the speed, and rhythm of their typing. This authenticates the user and removes any chances of proxy.
Proof check for plagiarism
Install a plagiarism detection tool in the test. In case there is plagiarized content. you will know that the students have copied the content from some external sources. However, don’t completely depend on this technology. You’ll also need to make efforts to verify whether the said content is plagiarized or not. For example, students may write something which is a part of their course but is also present in other sources. So, this must not be considered as plagiarized material.
Don’t show ’em all
Show your user one question at a time. You can get your test customized with the LMS. If you want to punch the game up, you can add a fixed timer to each question. Keep your students hooked to the test and don’t give them time to wander around for the answer. Necessitate learning and understanding for the tests by basing the questions on logic and aptitude. Also, when you show one question per screen, it becomes difficult for the students to share or record screen. Jotting down every question would not be feasible too. This prevents them from finding shortcuts and trying to know answers.
Keep an eye
Also known as, Proctoring. Imagine classroom exams with invigilator but remote. It helps you monitor students via basic computer webcams and verify student’s identity through a secure process.
Proctoring can be of two types: live online and recorded.
Live online proctoring enables you to watch over multiple students at a time using split screens. If any suspicious user behavior is detected, proctor can warn students via chat and even terminate them right at the moment. Qualified proctor is responsible for ensuring candidate’s authenticity and red flag suspicious eyes or facial movement any unverified device. The biggest drawback is, it’s not scalable because it requires proctor to be available on a specific date and time.
Unlike live online proctoring, in recorded proctoring, the entire test session is recorded with flagged suspicious activities This recording is later played by the proctor to look for suspicious behavior or occurrence during the exam. It has an advantage over live proctoring that it requires no scheduling for live proctoring. So, candidates can also give the test at any convenient time.
Proctoring can also be completely automated: This is the most advanced form because no manual intervention is required. This form of proctoring records the activities of the candidate and at the same time monitors the feed for red flags using advanced audio and video analytics. Later, instructor or others can review the footage if they suspect cheating.
Preventing your users from cheating is not an easy task. You will need a combination of two-three methods from the list to invigilate effectively. One of the best ways is choosing the most efficient tricks and getting them customized to your LMS and quiz platforms.
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