Yesterday, I met with a group of faculty members to discuss some recent academic dishonesty issues that have occurred on campus. The open forum was designed to build awareness of some of the newer methods of cheating that students are employing and also to share resources and solutions. This week, I thought I’d use the blog to offer some of the resources my colleagues and I discussed.
Indiana University has created a tremendous tool for educating faculty and students on plagiarism. Offered through case studies with in-depth explanations, the site can help students and instructors better recognize and avoid plagiarism. The site also offers a ten question quiz and certification process that would be great to use with students in any course that is writing intensive. Students could complete the tutorial and the quiz and print off their certification to confirm that they understand plagiarism and how to avoid it.
Turnitin is one of the leading tools for plagiarism detection. At our institution, Turnitin is built into our course management system (CMS) to provide easy analysis for student papers submitted through the CMS’s electronic drop-box. Besides reporting on plagiarism issues in papers, Turnitin has also been analyzing the papers to look for trends in the types of sources students are citing in their papers. In this white paper, they identify the top paper mills, cheat sites and social networks students are using when crafting their papers.
The Chronicle of Higher Education shared an article last summer that examined some of the ways that students are cheating online. In this article, four students used Google Docs to share quiz questions from an online class. The article offers an interesting lens into how students are “gaming the system” and cheating in online classes.
Our group discussed ways to craft online quizzes and exams to decrease the likelihood of cheating. Our solutions included decreasing the window for students to take online assessments, randomizing question order and building a comprehensive test bank with a variety of questions. In this blog post from ProProfs, the authors share a variety of other ways to prevent cheating on online assessments.
Our group also discussed how students are cheating in face-to-face classes through the use of high-tech cheat sheets. In this video, a student demonstrates step by step how to scan a soda bottle wrapper to create a crib sheet. While the technical aspect of the video is pretty simple, it is a little disheartening that the tutorial has been viewed almost 100,000 times.
After discussing some recent issues on campus, our group also discussed prevention methods. A few faculty members commented that schools were adopting webcam solutions where students were monitored as they completed online exams. In this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, efforts from Western Governors University are discussed. While the implementation of such a system would greatly depend on the number of students taking online classes at an individual institution, the program offers a window into how some schools are using technology to prevent cheating.