How to prevent cheating using an online exam management system

How to prevent cheating using an online exam management system

It is easy to conduct online tests. As a private center for learning as well as an educational institute, you do not need to think about restrictions on location as students can take the test wherever thanks to the online exam management system. If you have the ability to connect a laptop or computer and the internet, it’s very easy and affordable to conduct online tests. But, with increased convenience comes more challenges which include the most popular problem is cheating.

Why is cheating such a major issue?

The exams’ purpose is to assess the ability of the student to be fair. If fairness in the exam is compromised, then the exam results will not be accurate in the sense that they do not reflect their actual abilities. In addition to the incorrect assessment of the student’s progress in learning, cheating also raises additional issues that you must be aware of when you are in the educational establishment.

One of the biggest concerns is the leakage of information which is the unauthorized distribution of exam-related documents like question banks to third-party users. If this happens, it can compromise the security of the online exam and the unique content. There could be a variety of reasons behind the leakage of information: an error in the system or could result from a lack of supervision. For example, if you don’t use a plagiarism checker to review, a student can copy his essay from an Internet site. These could be the reasons that have pushed learners to cheat.

What are the most favorite ways for students to cheat on online exams?

Writing math formulas down on your hands has become an outdated practice. Today, students have discovered creative ways to cheat, and, in most cases, use the technology available to them.

1. Share screen sharing with another PC

It’s easy to have a student do screen sharing during online tests. Since the exams are conducted online students can ask someone else to log in via a different computer to view the exam questions and assist or provide answers. Students have also tried other programs, such as Team Viewer in which an outside party is able to access the student’s computer remotely and take the test on their behalf.

2. Utilizing advanced electronic devices

High-tech gadgets aren’t just used by secret agents in missions of espionage, but also for students who want to cheat in examinations. Students are using Micro Bluetooth-powered earbuds and invisible smartwatches as well as AR glasses to assist in their studies. Particularly in online tests when supervision through webcams may not be as effective and transparent visually the devices could appear normal and virtually invisible. Students may also conceal other devices beneath the table.

3. Notes on smartphones and mobile apps

Students are using their smartphones to record notes for exams, such as formulas and terms that they can study in online exams. Additionally, apps for education on the go like Cymath and Brainly can help in solving exam-related problems quickly. For instance, you could submit a question to the apps and receive automatically suggested answers immediately or receive real-time answers within minutes.

4. Faking identities to obtain assistance from a third-party

Exam facilitators or proctors can authenticate students taking examinations in person. However, it’s more difficult to verify that only authorized parties are allowed to take the test when the exam is online, particularly those who aren’t supervising or proctored. If there is an official monitor via webcam students could be subject to people impersonating them providing fake IDs like fake driver’s licenses or school ID cards that could not be as easy to authenticate on the internet.

How can I reduce the chances of cheating on online tests?

Other than using a proctoring device there are a variety of ways that test coordinators could adopt and use the built-in features of their institutions Exam Management System to reduce cheating in online exams. Here are a few of them:

1. Develop questions that require higher-order thinking. Instead of having students answer questions that could be answered using a quick internet search, or by looking up an answer in the textbooks they have to make questions that focus on an analysis, synthesis, or assessment levels.

2. Use varied question types. Avoid having exams with all multiple-choice or false and true questions and include open-ended questions. It’s more difficult for students to provide the same answer as their classmates for open-ended questions. Students would be required to provide their answers with specific details and narratives that demonstrate their comprehension of the materials of the course.

3. Innovatively remind students of academic integrity guidelines. Create and share an instructional video that explains the rules for the online test and go over the policy on academic integrity of the institution and its consequences. These are outlined in the syllabus for the course. There might be a psychological effect on students watching and listening to their teacher talk about academic integrity before the exam begins and could deter students who might have thought about cheating.

4. Provide different versions of the test. It is suggested to offer multiple versions of the same test to ensure that, should students take the test within the same physical space it will be less likely that they be asked the same questions.

5. Examiners must verify their identities. Confirming the authenticity of test takers can be a protection against the possibility of cheating. The ID verification process can be carried out by a proctoring company using the ID document of the test-taker in relation to their biometric profiles.

6. Make use of mobile phone surveillance options to increase your security. It provides an additional method to reduce the chance of cheating in online exams by making use of the candidates’ smartphones’ cameras. Without compromising their personal data, the camera of a mobile phone can be used to provide an all-round room scan prior to the exam starts and provides an angle view of the candidate’s workspace during the test.

To sum up

The main goal of the online exam management system is to give students the opportunity to engage with faculty members and other students in the transition towards remote learning. Stress and pressure are the primary causes of cheating behavior and today’s students are suffering from these. The absence of supervision in person due to geographical limitations, coupled with the technology available has created a lot of opportunities to allow students to cheat on online tests. Understanding the ways that students cheat will aid in finding the ideal solution to reduce security risks.

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