Online exam cheating

Taking online tests increases the chance of cheating in comparison with paper testing. What can you do to prevent students from online cheating? Totally preventing students from cheating seems to be impossible with all the advanced technology going on today. Here are some tips and tricks that will help prevent cheating.

Some tips and tricks

Randomize questions

When taking tests, users are often getting asked questions in the same sequence. This makes it easier for participants to cheat on their exams. This is obviously not what you want to happen. In order to prevent this, you can randomize your questions. So, let's shuffle those questions! Students are not very likely to get the questions in the same sequence when taking the test.

Set Timer

Cheating can take some time. When students are adequately prepared for their exams, it’s not necessary think a long time to fill in the right answer. Unprepared (cheating!) students can take up some time to finish their exam. A solution is to set a timer. You can set a timer for the whole exam or set a timer per question. So hurry up, the time is ticking away! No time for cheating.

Problem-oriented questions

Problem-oriented questions do not rely on only recall of basic information. Recall of basic information is largely at Bloom's level 1 and 2. Problem-oriented questions require an understanding of spatial processes and relationships. These answers cannot easily be found in a textbook or on the internet. Problem-oriented questions address Bloom's level 3, 4 and 5.

Submission view

Showing answers might be good for students, so they know what they did wrong. But they could give that information to other students. The best option might be hide all the answers.  

How can our tool help to prevent cheating?

Randomize questions

Our tool is able to randomize question. It’s not only able to randomize questions, it’s even possible to randomize the answers of the questions. This makes it even more difficult to cheat.

Set timer

There are different kinds of options to choose from with our tool. You can choose to have an exam time limit and a question time limit. An additional option is to set a start date and an end date when participants have to finish their exams. For example: the exam will be online on April 21 from 09:00 until 10:30.  

Submission view

There are several options for the submission view. You can chose whether you want to show an explanation immediate after answering a question, never or when the answer is incorrect. Another possibility is to show all the answers when you have finished your exam.  But to prevent cheating, it’s better to not show the right answers at all.

Preventing students for cheating is not totally possible. But I hope that these tricks will help you to make it less easy for students to cheat! Read more about 'What is a proctored exam'.

Useful resources

Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center

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