Encouraging Academic Integrity During Remote Exams

These two articles are well worth the read:

Some faculty may not be comfortable using Respondus Monitor for proctoring their exams, but there are concrete steps you can take both—both technical and pedagogical—to help deter academic integrity violations.

Pedagogical Practices

  • Research suggests that instances of cheating can be reduced if the student is asked if they will comply with academic honesty policies before taking tests. The CTL offers a 1-question Blackboard test that links to UVM’s Code of Academic Integrity (PDF) and asks if the student agrees to download, read, and abide by it. This test file and instructions to import it into Blackboard are on UVM Knowledge Base.
  • If you write questions that pertain to recent events or the current context, it will be difficult to answer using online tools.
  • If students have to explain their reasoning, logic, process, or analysis, it is more difficult for them to collaborate. Consider pairing a multiple choice question with a short answer question asking them to explain their thinking.
  • Multiple choice questions that encourage analysis and higher order thinking will be more difficult to find online.
  • Allow students to take a test more than once, focusing on mastery rather than performance. If using a large pool of questions (see below), the second attempt will not precisely match the first attempt.

Technical Recommendations and Options:

  • Test Options in Blackboard that encourage academic honesty:
    • Set the test timer with reasonable constraints to encourage preparation and study.
    • Randomize the order of questions for each student.
    • Randomize the order of answers for multiple choice and multiple answer questions.
    • Hold back on releasing scores to students until a time when all students have completed the test.
    • When displaying grades to students, consider not allowing them to see the questions and answers or what they got right or wrong (to deter copying exam into external exam sharing websites).
  • Develop “Pools” (or question banks) and use them to create randomized Question Sets so each student gets a unique version of the exam. Textbook publishers sometimes offer test banks that are ready to import into Blackboard. You can also import questions from your own tests (in Word documents) or write new questions directly into a pool. (If you do use questions generated by a publisher, you can edit them by changing a few variables or re-ordering words to reduce the likelihood of finding answers on the internet.)