Without security measures in place, assessments will be susceptible to cheating. And, the more high-stakes a test is, the more likely it is that learners will "cheat the system".
In our experience, several steps can be taken to promote academic honesty and limit student cheating.
For most education institutions, having an exam centre with dedicated computers simply is not an option. At Inspera, we therefore believe in the power of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). And, if designed and used well, a BYOD platform can meet high standards of security.
Secure online testing with BYOD requires a lock-down browser. Once an assessment starts, learners are locked into the full-screen testing environment until they submit the assignment. During the test session, learners are prevented from accessing instant message, email, the Internet, and other applications or files.
But, lock-down browsers are only one of many cheating-reducing measures available. Combined with a healthy dose of common sense, sound preparation, and online invigilation tools, customers are able to deliver safe and reliable exams with BYOD assessments.
Safe and secure exams start with the infrastructure of your e-assessment set-up. Crucially, IT administrators can prevent a whole range of cheating options by simply setting the firewall to only accept connections that should be allowed, such as to Inspera Assessment and whitelisted online resources.
When the exam day has arrived, exam day registration with ID check prior to starting an exam is an easy and proven way to prevent any (un)intentional identity mix-ups. Similarly, our integrations with digital identity providers such as Feide, eduGain, and Shibboleth create yet an extra layer of identity verification and security.
During the test, the invigilator process has to be designed in such a way that learners are invigilated in a structured and consistent way. To achieve this, it is crucial to rely on a combination of physical surveillance and online monitoring. Physical surveillance simply means using your powers of observation to spot anomalous behaviour among learners as the exam is on-going
Online monitoring is a crucial part of your digital invigilation toolbox. This monitoring process focuses on the use of a lock-down browser, and includes security audits of anyone who sets up a secure session and/or closes it. It also involves detection of of anomalous processes on user devices, blocking such processes, and notifying invigilators when such anomalies occur.
Finally, USB stick tools with special diagnostics software should be used for random checks of devices to verify if they are running correct version of lock-down browser with non-tampered startup scripts.
Finally, post-assessment also offers a tools to detect cheating. Plagiarism Checker for example, generated through integrations with external plagiarism prevention services, can be consulted for each learner submission individually.
Do you want to learn more about how to conduct online exams and assessments, and how Inspera Assessment can make your assessments accessible, secure, valid and reliable? No worries, we wrote a "Guide to Online Exams and Assessments".