Joe Zelazny—While cheating is not exclusive to online courses, the online environment presents some unique challenges to promoting academic integrity. Tools and settings within myCourses can help you make your exams more secure.
Create a Test Bank
A test bank allows you to randomize the questions that are asked on an exam to prevent students from texting each other answers to particular questions. Test banks are most effective when you divide larger exams into sections and develop smaller text banks for each section. In this way, you can ensure that students get questions on the full range of content that is represented on the assessment.
To create a test bank, you’ll do so within myCourses by adding questions to the "Question LIbrary," then creating a “Random Section” within your myCourses quiz. A Random Section allows you to import a pool of questions from the myCourses question library and specify the number of questions to be pulled at random for each student. To maximize the utility of this tool, we recommend that you try to have a pool of random questions of at least 25 questions for every 10 questions asked on the assessment.
Randomizing the order of answers that appear with multiple choice questions is another way of discouraging cheating. This setting, called “Randomize options,” must be selected individually for each question. If you employ this, you’ll want to ensure that none of your answer options refer to the letter or position of other options, such as “Both B and C.” or “All of the above.”
Control Availability and Length of Exams
Test banks and randomized responses can discourage students from sharing answers to particular questions, but what about other ways of cheating, such as consulting the Internet or taking screen shots of the test? Consider these suggestions. You can find more detailed information about these suggestions below.
- To limit the time that students have to talk with one another about the exam, limit the availability window for these exams to one or two days. Then, limit the amount of time students have to complete the exam once they have started it.
- Allow students one attempt at an exam.
- Require students to type in a password to access the exam.
- Only reveal one exam question at a time.
Limiting Availability and Length of Exam
Password Protect the Exam
This feature can be set in the Optional Advanced Restrictions of the Restrictions tab while editing the quiz in myCourses.
Reveal One Exam Question at a Time
myCourses makes this option available within the quiz question setup. Change the questions per page to 1 and click Apply.
If you find that you need additional support to enable these in your own course, please don’t hesitate to reach out and make an appointment with an instructional technologist.