What can you do to promote academic integrity in your virtual classroom without joining the “arms race” for cheating-prevention tools?

One of the most-frequent questions asked by faculty members about online teaching is how to make sure that students won’t cheat on tests. The short answer: You can’t.

Rather than punitive approaches — such as proctored online exams and time limits for online tests — try something simpler: Assume that every online quiz or test you give is open-book and open-note (or, for the tech-savvy, open-Chegg and open-Discord). Students tend to cheat when the stakes of a course are high and they feel pressured to do well — for example, when their grade is based solely on a midterm and a final exam. But there are ways to meaningfully assess student learning and foster academic integrity:

  • Break up a big high-stakes exam into small weekly tests. Lessen the pressure to do well on a big test — and thus the urge to cheat — by giving them a series of weekly tests that equal the weight of the high-stakes exam.
  • Assess learning in online discussion forums. Don’t overlook the potential of online discussion forums as a valuable yet low-stakes source of feedback on whether students are learning the material.
  • Offer students choice in how they demonstrate their knowledge. Options allow students from all backgrounds, dealing with all kinds of unique circumstances and preferences, to shine.

Continue reading:7 Ways to Assess Students Online and Minimize Cheating,” by Flower Darby

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