Fostering Academic Integrity in Online Exams

Provide clear communication.

Use both written and verbal communication to explain to your students what is expected of them, what is OK, and what is not OK to do during an exam.

Communicate more than once.

When you believe you have communicated the expectations clearly enough, communicate them again. Leave no room for confusion or ambiguity. Communicate regularly what is expected.

Share tips with your students.

Let them know how best to study for the exam, how to prepare their physical space for when they have to write, and strategies for actually answering questions and putting their thoughts down in the computer.

Do a trial run.

Remove surprises and reduce the uncertainty for the students so they know what an online exam looks and feels like. Give them an opportunity to remove the discomfort of not knowing what the exam will look like and what kinds of questions will be on it; allow them to focus on the content and conveying their thoughts versus worry about the actual structure and pressure of the exam itself.

Use the tips for running Moodle exams.

Use every option available to you to make it more difficult for students to engage in Academic Misconduct: the “right” amount of time to complete the exam, having all students write at once, shuffling the questions and choices, using a large question bank, and displaying only one question per page. Let the students know, in advance, what they can expect and the measures you are putting into place to make Academic Misconduct not very appealing. The University of Waterloo has a page dedicated to encouraging academic integrity online.