Strategies for Reducing Academic Dishonesty in Testing

Testing is one form of assessing learning in our students, but online testing can make instructors uneasy. Are my students looking at their textbooks while taking this quiz? Are they looking up answers on the internet? Could multiple students be taking the exam together? It’s natural to wonder these things even when you have very trustworthy students. Here are three groups of strategies that you can employ to reduce academic dishonesty in testing.

Virtue Integration (Creating Relationships)

The goal of this strategy is to encourage students to strive for excellence and integrity (core values here at AU). Virtue integration includes helping students learn about self-regulation, self-motivation, and self-esteem. Ways that you can do this:

  1. Build positive relationships with students as they are less likely to break your trust if they know
  2. Move the discussion of academic integrity beyond an institutional rule by linking it with professional ethics in their future career

Prevention (Lead Them Not into Temptation)

The goal of this strategy is to limit opportunities for student cheating. There are limitations in online testing, but these strategies form a plan to address the constraints and reduce academic dishonesty.

  1. Focus on application of knowledge and experience when developing quiz questions rather than rote memorization 
  2. Change test questions from semester to semester
  3. Create “fair” exams by asking questions that cover material you said it would cover and is not intentionally set up for failure as students are more apt to cheat when they deem an instructor as “unfair.”
  4. Utilize an entry question on the exam that requires them to affirm they are abiding by academic integrity: “I pledge on my honor that I have neither given nor received aid on this examination.”
  5. Remove temptation by making it an open book test.
    • Include questions that draw from course content/lectures
    • Use distracter answers that closely resemble the right solution because this requires more thought.
  6. Randomize questions to make it more difficult for students to take tests in a group 
  7. Use the settings that show score once the exam is over but doesn’t show correct answers until after the test is closed.
  8. Set a realistic, but not generous, time limit
  9. Create a short answer justification question for some multiple-choice questions
  10. Help students prepare adequately for assessments.
    • Practice tests
    • Study Sessions
    • Constructive Feedback on assignments

Technology Tools

The goal of technology tools related to academic dishonesty in testing is to discourage the use of outside materials. Respondus Lockdown Browser is a tool that prevents students from accessing anything but their exam on their computer while they are testing. While Respondus Lockdown Browser provides a deterrent for students, it cannot prevent all forms of academic dishonesty. There is no way to stop students from using another device, notes/books, or working with other students.

Remote proctoring services are available for high-stakes testing, but these services often include accessing a student’s webcam and microphone to monitor the testing environment. These methods can often be viewed as intrusive by students, so they should be used sparingly.


Article ID: 102052
Wed 3/18/20 7:27 PM
Fri 10/23/20 1:02 PM