Discouraging Cheating in Online Tests

Best Practices Blackboard

In online courses, where a student completes a test off-campus without proctored supervision, online tests must be considered to be open-book tests. This is because students often have access to a wide variety of information resources at their disposal.

Faculty concerned about cheating in online testing are encouraged to use the following test design countermeasures.

  1. Create a large pool of test questions (100 or more) and design the test to pull random questions from the pool.
    That way, no two students will have the same test questions or questions in the same order.
  2. When deploying a test to a course, select the “Set Timer” and “Auto-Submit” options to limit the time
    students have to complete the test once opened. Once the test session reaches its end, the student’s test
    attempt will automatically submit itself. This technique assumes that students who are prepared for the test
    will be able to complete it within the constraints of the timed session, but please remember to advise students
    of the time restraints so that they may plan accordingly.
  3. To discourage students who have completed a test by sharing correct answers with classmates who have not
    taken the test, set the test’s feedback options to display only the student’s test score after submission. After all students have been graded, you may edit the test’s Test Options to show students their submitted answers,
    correct answers, and feedback.
  4. Update or add new test questions to your pools each time you teach the course so that your tests will be
    different each year! This is an important countermeasure to students sharing the test questions and answers
    that they recall from memory with new students.

What About Respondus Lockdown Browser?

Although Respondus Lockdown Browser can lock a workstation down to prevent printing or navigation outside a test delivered in Blackboard, it is meant for proctored testing environments only! A student in an unsupervised test environment may have access to a secondary device, such as a smartphone or tablet capable of taking pictures of a computer monitor’s screen, which make Respondus Lockdown Browser an ineffective solution.