Many educational institutions have embraced technology to safeguard their teaching schedule and ensure minimum disruptions. It has many advantages, including scalability, reliability, convenience, minimization of errors, and speeding up the exam process.
Despite the advantages of conducting online examinations, most schools are concerned about the possibility of cheating. Perhaps this concern stems from the physical absence of invigilators at the assessment venue.
Even though their concern is valid, the chances of cheating are minimal. That is because digitally held exams make it easier for invigilators to detect cheating and, more importantly, plagiarism than traditional ones.
Online assessments benefit from the power and flexibility of cloud technology combined with software tools that allow teachers to author, deliver, mark, and assess exams.
The online platform allows teachers to run tests in an environment where processes like the automated marking of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) ensure accurate results by eliminating the chances of human error.
But despite the necessary safeguards, there are some mistakes that you (as a teacher) can avoid while preventing cheating on exams. Here are three of them.
1. Creating identical versions of a test
You should never forget to create different versions of the same test, which will discourage students from cheating. Since every student would have a different set of questions, glancing at each other’s screens will seem pointless.
An online exam software has a unique feature called the test generator which specializes in question randomization. It randomly assigns questions to students, with the result that each student receives a different set of questions from the others.
Online assessment platform also offers you more than 40 question types, each consisting of hundreds of variations for creating simple and complex assessments. You can utilize various mediums to test your student’s aptitude, including written, visual, audio, and drawing.
2. Not enabling the audit trail feature
Amongst the many proven strategies to prevent cheating at exams conducted online, one is using the audit trail feature. It records all the activities and actions a student performs during the examination and helps you check those later on or in real-time through an audit log.
Since this feature records every single touch point of the student, it eliminates the chances of submissions being lost, misplaced, or interfered with by anybody. However, failing to use this feature or forgetting to enable it before the assessment leaves a lot of scope for cheating.
3. Not locking the browser
The best online assessment platforms usually have a feature that allows you to lock down your students’ browsers for the duration of their examination. A lockdown browser works as a full screen and prevents students from leaving the screen or switching between screens without obtaining permission.
However, forgetting to enable this feature will result in losing complete functionality over the assessment process. It will compromise your security and allow students to access tools and resources that are against the examination’s fair practices. You will also be unable to restrict access to websites, online applications, and screen recording tools.
You should avoid making these mistakes while conducting online examinations to minimize the possibility of cheating or students adopting unfair practices. They will ensure an online assessment that is fair, secure, and devoid of unfair practices.
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