6 Ways to Create Online Exams that Stop Cheating in its Tracks


Exams and assessments which are taken online offer a range of benefits both to the students and the teachers. But there is also a dark side to taking online exams, which is that, more often than not, students who wish to take these online assessments look to cheat their way through the exams by manipulating some of the loopholes of the online assessment system. The following are just some of the ways through which you can prevent cheating:

Mix Both Types of Questions

Questions in these tests come in both objective and subjective types so it is important that you take some measures to make sure that cheating does not happen easily. This can also include, multiple choice, multiple answers, fill in the blanks and true or false questions. Objective questions can also include short answers and essays as well to keep the participants guessing.

Use Select Assessment Methods

While an objective assessment is able to measure a student’s ability to recall information, or their ability to organize a set of given information, other methods can also be used to assess a higher order of thinking skills, such as, understanding, applying, analyzing, and evaluating information.

Use Large Question Pools

Instead of using a fixed number of items in your assessment, try creating a pool of questions. These questions can be grouped by a number of factors, such as topics, subject matter, difficulty level and question type.
Having a pool of questions from which you can choose from will give an impression that the assessment test uses randomized questions and thus, cannot be tricked. To make sure that no cheating is able to happen you can create a very large number of questions for each group. Faculty members then have to choose from a large choice of questions and pick the ones which will appear in the tests. At the same time, older questions which have been used before can be easily removed because of the sheer about of questions being added to the group.

Randomize Questions

One highly effective option is to allow faculty members to randomize the selection of questions which are to appear in the online tests. The result is that students aren’t likely to get the same questions twice, or in the same sequence for that matter.
The strategy is able to address the issue of students being able to share answers to the questions of the assessment.

Use a Set Timer

The fact that students get to take an exam online makes it obvious that some of those students are going to use scrupulous means to get through them, mainly, using textbook and notes to find the right answers. Using a set timer gives the participants a fixed time frame in which they need to complete the examination consequently not allowing them the time to be able to cheat during the duration of the exam. By creating an online assessment with a completion time, participants do not have the time to go over notes or any other means to get through the online examination. But, that being said, it is necessary that you give the participants sufficient time for those who do know the answers to complete all of the questions.

Display Questions One at a Time

If you still feel like it’s not enough then another way of creating an online assessment system is by setting the options so that the questions appear one at a time, and on the same screen. And while students can screen capture the questions and send it to their friends, it gets more it gets more time consuming and awkward for them. Exams, tests and assessments taken online saves students from being under the watchful eye of an test administrator, on the other hand this also allows many students to use unethical means in order to pass their exams. Choosing any one of the above mentioned options can keep that from happening.


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