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Online Testing Strategies to Promote Academic Honesty

Important Considerations for Academic Honesty in an Online Environment

When you give students quizzes online on Canvas, there is no way to ensure that they will not copy, print or take photos of the exam. However, there are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of academic dishonesty. Below are some strategies to promote academic honesty in an online environment.

  • Use an honor statement. Use text similar to the below in the directions for your online quiz or test:

You may use your books and notes while taking the test but you must work on your own. Do not share your answers or discuss with anyone, even after completing the test. You will have 60 minutes to complete the test up until the deadline of Tuesday at 11:55 PM. All tests will be automatically submitted at 11:55 PM regardless of how much time the timer says because that is the final deadline.

Please read the statement below carefully before beginning the test:

By selecting Attempt quiz now, I acknowledge that I am the assigned student taking the quiz and the work is entirely my own.

  • Consider shuffling the options within questions (e.g., multiple-choice options). However, for shuffling within questions, if you have any “all of the above,” “none of the above,” or “A and C are correct” kind of options and enable this setting, it is recommended that those questions be rewritten to say “all of these options,” “none of these options,” or something along these lines.

  • Consider putting a time limit for completing the quiz, as this reduces the amount of time that students have to be fact-checking or looking for the answers (suggest T/F 30-45 sec, ABCD 60-90 sec).

  • Consider not selecting the option to release scores or answers until after the quiz closes. This way someone who finished the quiz first cannot pass the answers along to classmates who have yet to take the quiz.

  • Consider having a large pool of questions and randomizing the questions pulled from your question bank. The larger the question bank, the more chances that students will get entirely different sets of questions.

  • Create quizzes that encourage knowledge transfer vs. recall, and consider using higher order questions. Open-ended, analytical, or problem-solving questions are harder to copy than mechanical and discrete questions.

For more information about how to promote academic honesty in all aspects of your teaching, please visit the Faculty Development Teaching Toolkit: Promoting Academic Honesty