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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

New Tools Foil Fraud on Online Exams

When a college student takes an online exam for an online course, who’s really sitting in the test-taker’s seat—the student who enrolled or someone else?

Potential cheating has always been a concern for online college courses. New analytical tools, according to a report in EdTech magazine, are helping institutions ensure that the person who gets credit for the course actually does the work.

By analyzing how thousands of honest students fill out an examination form, researchers can determine if a dishonest student is trying to cheat or obtained access to test questions in advance.

Other schools are attempting to prevent cheating with online proctoring services. Students must take the exam from a computer with a webcam that keeps an eye on their work during the test. In case a student is tempted to substitute an impersonator, figuring the school won’t know the difference, some services verify the person’s identity with scanned photos.

On the positive side, proctoring services also enable “the university to offer students more flexible test times, an important factor for some nontraditional students,” said the report.

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