Online exams share many of the academic integrity challenges that the usual on campus examinations do, as well as adding some new ones.
In preparing for online exams, however, our focus shouldn’t be solely on detecting instances of cheating. Instead, the move to online exams provides a welcome opportunity to look at how subject coordinators (working with subject assessors) can play an active role in reducing opportunities and motivations to cheat.
The strategies outlined below work for both on-campus and online exams.
An online PowerPoint presentation (download) has been developed for academics to use as part of student discussions or as an available resource on the subject site.
Some suggestions to help academics include:
1. Carefully designing your exam
Treat online exams as a part of the learning process and approach every exam as if it were open book. Use questions that challenge students even if they use resources when forming their answers. Use options such as question randomisation. Never recycle previous test papers
2. Creating an environment of honesty
Reflect this in materials, include statements about academic integrity, definitions of plagiarism and consequences of academic dishonesty.
A starting point for explaining academic integrity would be to highlight the importance of students submitting their own work, followed by a discussion of what is considered to be plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism and cheating are defined as instances of misconduct under the UTS Student Rules and there are significant penalties for students who are caught cheating.
3. Linking to professional integrity
Remind students that they will be monitored in an online invigilated session and any irregular behaviour flagged for review. Frame the discussion within the larger context of a student’s future life, professional integrity and expected professional behaviour in their field.
Find out more…
For further information on discussing academic integrity with your students, please refer to the following resources:
- PowerPoint presentation – download and adapt for your class
- Deterring contract cheating during online exams: https://lx.uts.edu.au/resources/academic-integrity-deterring-contract-cheating-during-online-exams/
- Authentic assessment: https://lx.uts.edu.au/collections/assessment-for-learning/resources/authentic-assessment/
- Plagiarism and academic integrity explained: https://www.lib.uts.edu.au/node/897881