July 21, 2005
How to Cheat Online
This session outlines the different ways students can cheat online, and ways instructors and course designers can minimize these problems.
David Wiley of Utah State University says "If your students can cheat on you, then you deserve it!"
The full version of this talk will be available at http://www.uvsc.edu/disted/cheat/.
Here's some of the highlights.
Students cheat for a variety of reasons:
- Everybody does it
- Unrealistic demands by the instructor
- Economic reasons (honours average, etc.)
- Need to save face with family
Often it boils down to the pressures on the student vs their ability to cope. One vital way to reduce cheating is to not put unnecessary pressures on the students. No busy work for example.
There are various levels of cheating:
- Excuses (My dog ate my homework)
- Blaming the technology (the network corrupted the file
- Dishonest collaboration (splitting work up over several students
- Exploiting the technology (using java or images pointing to external sites on quizzes that they can go back and change the answer later.
- Hacking (illegally using other passwords)
Some solutions for instructors:
- Notify students of campus policies regarding academic integrity in the syllabus
- Be explicit about expectations. State in the syllabus what is and what is not considered cheating in your course.
- Indicate in the syllabus that you will not accept technological problems as valid excuses.
- In the first "practice quiz" in the course include questions that show the students have read and understand the course policies on academic integrity.
- Place responsibility on students. For example, tell them after uploading a file to assignments they are expected to download it again to make sure the file was not corrupted.
- Use WebCT capabilities to randomly pick questions from a question pool, restrict access, use proctors, etc.
- Make sure the question poole is changed regularly. Don't use the same old assessments for ten years.
- Use alternative assessments like oral tests over the phone, student portfolios to show growth over time, case studies, etc.
- Break up the evaluations over time (not everything based on final exam).
- Hint for secure passowords. Think of a phrase, then use the first letters of each word in the phrase, substituting "0" for the letter "O" or "1" for the letter "l", and mixing upper and lower case letters. That will foil most password crackers.
Posted by kvl014 at July 21, 2005 03:26 PM