Online exams come with plenty of advantages. It helps the institutes to shred some load over their physical resources. On the other hand, students can attempt their exams beyond the constraints of boundaries. However, one problem everyone is struggling with and concerned about is the risk of cheating during online exams and maintaining academic integrity in online assessments. The absence of a human invigilator in front of the students can allure them to use different ways to cheat during exams.
According to a study by Marshall University, around 32.7 students admitted to cheating in online courses. The study outcome is undoubtedly an eye opener for the institutes to be more proactive towards making their exams more secure.
Why Cheating a Huge Deal?
Exams help in to assess the understanding level of students. Some exams gauge the learning level of the students. However, some high stake exams elevate and accelerate the career of students. Irrespective of how much is at stake for an exam, most students get drawn to cheating methods if there is inadequate monitoring.
Another surprising factor associated with online class exam cheating is the risk of content leakage. Many third-party question bank providers in the market use the leaked exam papers from online exams and sell them to students for money. Undoubtedly, this is not a desirable practice that any institute would want to encourage.
Cheating in online classes has a detrimental effect on both institutes and students. Some prominent issues are adverse effects on the credibility of schools, inaccurate measurement of student learning, unauthorized data leakage to third parties, and so on.
Ways of Cheating During Online Exams
• Virtual Machines
Virtual machines are a very advanced technique that students use. A parallel operating system works during the online exam, and the proctoring tools fail to identify and block browsing and study material during exams.
• Screen Sharing
Sophisticated technology comes into play to share the screen of the student appearing in the exam with another screen where the students can get help accessing notes and answers.
• Unauthorized Browser Access
Students can use search engines and browsers to access the study materials and related help for their exams. If the proctoring solutions are not robust enough, students can find a way to access the browser that helps them to find answers.
• USB Keyboard Use
In the market, standard-looking keyboards are available with data storage capability. Most examiners will not even suspect that such devices are at work to help students cheat during exams. They operate in a simple plug-and-play mode and help students with their study notes and references.
• Identity Fraud to get third-party help
There is always a risk of imposters in online exams where competent biometric and identity verification methods fail to be effective. Instead of the students, another person can sit through the exams, and the students may get an unfair advantage.
• Using Other Devices
If the online proctoring is not robust enough, students can always access data and references on other devices hidden in the space of their exams. Students can bypass online invigilation to keep such devices for cheating during exams.
How to Prevent Cheating in Online Exams?
Prevention of cheating during online exams starts with robust preparation from the institution’s end. As the online exam model rides high on the horse of technology, cheating prevention must also use technology to stay ahead.
How do you minimize cheating during online exams? Here are some of the most popular and effective ways to prevent cheating during online exams.
• Using Secure Browser
This technology has been very popular for preventing cheating in online courses. When a test taker tries to open any window other than the exam browser, the remote administrator or proctor will get a notification in case the student attempts to open another browser.
• Online Automated Proctoring
Online exams can not be secure without the support of online proctoring. Proctoring solutions providers such as Proctortrack provide superior technology to create a safe exam environment online.
These solutions have configurations to conduct automated proctoring using many pre-defined risk flags. Remotely based proctors or invigilators can use the software’s algorithm to identify and address inappropriate incidences during online exams using their accurate reports.
These proctoring solutions also manage the identity verification process using pre-saved biometric data of the test takers.
• Data Encryption for Sharing Documents
Many institutes share their exam papers over emails. Subsequently, students are supposed to attempt their online proctored exams over the webcam for the invigilator’s assessment. During this process, institutes should use encrypted files for added security. Encryption does help the sender and the receiver to keep their data secure while using the internet.
• Human in Loop Online Proctoring Tool
We can say that this is the most secure way possible right now to use online exam technology. Here the technology is at the service all the time in automated mode to detect and highlight issues. A remotely based human proctor also monitors the students during the exam duration. In this human and machine partnership, the highest possible exam invigilation occurs. Especially for high stake exams, this method is a boon.
It is Possible to Prevent Cheating: Summing Up
Deploying and using advanced proctoring tools and technology like Proctortrack to prevent cheating during online exams is crucial for schools and colleges. Having these tools onboard will enhance their credibility in the education sphere concerning the integrity of their results. Call it a lack of maturity of fundamental human nature; students will attempt to find inventive ways to cheat. However, intelligent virtual proctoring tools such as Proctortrack will always have the technological edge and foresight to prevent and challenge these techniques to aid institutes with their live proctoring technology.