Strategies to Ensure
Academic Integrity in an Online Course;
- Remember that testing should never
be the only means by which you assess the abilities of your students. If they
are evaluated with various different methods, you have the best way of
ensuring that there is real learning taking place.
- First, many of the same problems
regarding the authenticity of a student’s work and plagiarism exist in the
traditional classroom as well. It
would be extremely difficult to get somebody else to all the work, and not
get the credit.
- Focus on project or
performance-based forms of assessments.
- Use personalized writing logs and
participation in online discussions as alternative forms of assessment.
- Have students work in their
cooperative teams for assessments.
- Use a log-in/password system.
- Have assessments build on previous
assignments, so that a person taking the assessment would have to
participate in previous activities to do well.
- Give many short exams that are
embedded in class exercises so that it would be difficult for a student to
have "help" there all the time.
- Ask mastery-type questions so that a
student must know the material himself/herself in order to answer the
question (i.e. case studies verses memorization questions).
- Ask students to relate the subject
matter to their own personal/professional/life experiences so their
answers are personalized and difficult to replicate.
- Require students to submit an
outline and rough draft of term papers and essays before the final paper
is due. This way, a professor can see the work in progress. These can also be posted for peer
review. The professor would again
be able to see the work in progress.
- Give different questions to
different students – construct a large set of questions from which an
automated testing program can randomly select (i.e. a database of 50
questions with 10 randomly chosen).
- Limit the times when the online test
is available; ensure that the test is taken in a certain amount of time.
Some automated testing programs allow this feature.
- Provide online exam practice –
sample questions, self-study questions with answers and feedback, and
require a proctored, non-online examination for course credit (i.e. on
campus, at a testing center, library, etc.).
- Schedule brief, online chats with
each student while they are working on papers. Have a few generic questions ready to ask that would show
that they are actually doing the research.
- Make sure you let you students know
up front that cheating is not tolerated.
Have a place on your course site that relates to online cheating
and cheating in general. You can
use information from this page to present to students.