Top Five Ways Instructors Can Stop Cheating Before It Happens

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Between 2002 and 2015, 68 percent of 71,300 undergraduate students surveyed by the International Center for Academic Integrity admitted to cheating on exams and/or written assignments. Keep in mind, that number only reflects those who admitted to it.

So how do you stop cheating before it occurs in your classroom? Here are five great methods to consider:

  1. Clear communication –  Some students may not think cheating is a big deal unless you clearly outline the rules from the beginning. Specify exactly what is and is not allowed during exams. If they cannot use scratch paper, calculators, textbooks or notes, don’t leave any room for misgivings. Additionally, if your institution implements an honor code, go over the specifics with students at the beginning of the course. Offer a reminder before each exam so that it’s fresh in their minds.
  2. Plagiarism detection – This type of tool can help with online essay questions and term papers alike. They scour the internet and compare students’ writing to ensure that no plagiarism occurs.
  3. Online proctoring – Online proctoring has taken the higher education sector by storm as a simple solution to a growing problem. From automated proctoring, where a student is recorded and monitored by software during an exam session to live proctoring, where a highly-trained human proctor closely monitors students during an exam.
  4. Open-door policy – This doesn’t just have to apply to in-person classes. In fact, it may be even more crucial to reiterate that you are there to support your online students. Sometimes, they may feel slightly disconnected. Knowing that they can reach out through email or set up an appointment with you to talk about challenges with coursework could mean the difference between that student cheating or not.
  5. Real-life examples – Many students may not truly understand the negative impact that cheating can have. It creates problems for higher education in general and devalues earned degrees. Give them real-life examples that they can relate to. Taking the easy way out instead of learning the material can create problems for students when they enter the workforce. There are also academic consequences in which students who have been caught cheating were expelled from their institution.

In 2017, ProctorU prevented 33 percent of online test-takers from using unpermitted resources on their exams. That’s only one example of how we stop cheating before it has a chance to happen. As one of the first innovators in the online proctoring world, we are dedicated to advocating for institutions and upholding academic integrity to the highest degree.