Online quizzing and testing is a great tool to gauge student understanding of the material and to make life a bit easier for the faculty member. However, because the tests are normally taken at various times and various locations it’s difficult to monitor the tests for cheating. Here are a few tips to help you set up your online quizzes and tests to minimize cheating:

  • Make the first question of every online test/quiz a question that makes the student acknowledge that they understand the honor code applies to this test/quiz. You must give it a value of at least one point. In OAKS you could also try a text section of the test that reminds them and it won’t alter the score of the test.
  • Michelle Futrell in Health and Human Performance has a great tip.  She  hides course content in her WebCT class so that students can’t access the class material and lectures while taking the test. This is easier to do in OAKS than in WebCT but it’s possible on both platforms.
  • Implement a short testing window. While it’s nice to allow flexibility the longer the test is open the more opportunity to cheat. If this is a high-stakes test make the window very narrow.
  • Implement an appropriate amount of time to take the test. As a guideline you should allow 45 seconds per multiple choice/true-false questions.
  • When creating a multiple choice test utilize randomized answers and randomized question sets. This means that potentially each student will have different questions or different question order on their test.
  • Make sure that you don’t release the quiz feedback (score, correct answers, etc.) until after the testing window has passed. This prevents students from taking it early and giving their answers to other students in the class.

While nothing can prevent a determined student from cheating, hopefully these tips will help lessen the odds.  If you have any questions about using online quizzes and tests in your own class feel free to contact your Instructional Technologist for help.

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