An Issue of Cheating in Online Learning

It is high time we seriously discuss the issue of students cheating in online courses in colleges. It brought us back to 2002 when there was the first talk of a concept of the online program. And now, with the advancement of online learning, we have online proctoring service for online courses.

The key issue back then was to make sure the student was the one doing the work. In fact, if otherwise, this could have killed the whole cheating-free concept. The concept of cheating had to be eliminated, so, what did we think guarantee the student is the one doing the work since we wanted a true online environment where the student had 24/7 access?

It is not a true online virtual program, although, it would have been the easy solution to restrict the students to computer labs only, and to deactivate the curriculum when the student is not available in the lab.

The full flexibility was the demand of the many a school district to provide a true online virtual program that ensured just that. Because of this, we needed to look at process and procedure. Online proctoring was the answer to the puzzle.

#1: Exams are the Assessments

Academic institutions recognize that the exams are the assessments that prove mastery of the content in the course. The  online proctoring service must prove mastery or this process will be in vain.

#2: Grading Weightage

Putting weight to the grade is a must! How about creating an unbalanced weighting of grades where the exam is worth 50% or more towards the final grade during exam proctoring?

#3: Average Passing

To even be eligible for credit in the course, the student must have a passing exam average. The student does not earn credit for the course if the exam average is below a passing score.

#4: Exam Proctored

Either way, online proctoring service by school personnel or other recognized designee is a must.

How helpful is it?

It forces the student to be the one working on all course material and to be prepared to take the proctored exams. If the student is not the one doing the work they will not pass the remote exam proctoring and ultimately not earn credit. The student must know that going into the class.

A final grade calculation will still count for student work, so students do not feel that they worked for nothing.

A proctor buy-in can be an alternative. Proctors should be aware of their importance as they play a vital role in this process. The weight of the class is dependent on the online proctoring service.

Exam security requires Proctors to follow strict guidelines to make sure this whole test proctoring process works efficiently. Organizations can adapt to either live proctoring or virtual proctoring. In both situations, the strict list of protocols is to be followed. The screen recording will be implemented for the student to work on via webcam.

Also, this proctoring will foster cooperative learning between the students. The chapter work is something where the student is free to work on their own without working with other students.

When students work and study together, they support one another heading into chapter assessments and ultimately the proctored exams. Include the online teacher system and the student will have an online learning experience that is not only self-paced but also cooperative.

Of course, students will always be found who try to manipulate whatever system teachers have created. It is amazing to see what lengths some students go to cheat the system in the online education world of remote proctoring.

If these students spend as much time on learning the material that they spend trying to cheat, they would actually earn credit they need, meanwhile staying on track to graduate.



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