With another semester wrapping up, students and instructors are preparing for finals weeks. A big question on the minds of many instructors is, How can I ensure that my students are honest on their final exams?

Why Should Instructors Talk to Their Students about Academic Integrity?

There are various reasons why students might cheat on exams, like poor study management, fear of failure, and misunderstanding of the exam questions or methods, to name a few.

Define cheating and explain why it can damage class morale and students’ learning and character. Explain the grading criteria for the exam and ensure students understand which curriculum content will be assessed during the exam. Explain the method and medium of the exam and how students can best prepare to sit for an exam. Encourage students to visit during office hours or schedule a time to meet to talk about grade or exam concerns. Provide students with information about study resources, such as university library and research centers.

To help students approach exams with a higher level of academic integrity, instructors should consider the following steps mentioned in the University of Washington’s “Creating a culture of academic integrity” and “Tips for preventing academic misconduct: General tips” and the University of Toronto’s “Classroom strategies: Talking about academic integrity”:

  • Define cheating and explain why it can damage class morale and students’ learning and character.
  • Explain the grading criteria for the exam and ensure students understand which curriculum content will be assessed during the exam.
  • Explain the method and medium of the exam and how students can best prepare to sit for an exam.
  • Encourage students to visit during office hours or schedule a time to meet to talk about grade or exam concerns.
  • Provide students with information about study resources, such as university library and research centers.

Academic Integrity for Finals Week with Online Courses

For many instructors, online courses have made finals week easier. You no longer have to worry about scheduling a space and time, finding proctors, preparing test copies, or hand-grading those paper copies. However, some instructors might consider these things a necessary evil, or a trade-off, if they’re worried about cheating. Fortunately for them, MyEducator makes it easy to wrap up the semester with online assessments because MyEducator gives instructors peace of mind when it comes to ensuring academic integrity.

MyEducator Helps Ensure Academic Integrity

MyEducator’s smart online textbooks help ensure academic integrity with advanced cheating detection. Each course comes with pre-built, embedded assessments that can be auto-graded, and every assessment can be customized to your preferences.

Every MyEducator course includes features that allow instructors to monitor the level of security and cheating prevention:

  • Large Test Banks. Not only are there a lot of questions to circulate, but the questions can be randomized so every assessment is unique with a low probability of the same question appearing on any re-takes.
  • Submission Time. Instructors can opt to flag short submission times (which denote the possibility of cheating) as well as set a maximum time limit. The instructor can independently set both of these timers for each assessment.
  • Proctor Password. This feature requires an instructor to enter a pre-determined password before a student can start an assessment.
  • Waiting Period. Instructors can enforce a minimum time between student submissions.
  • Question Display Quantity. Instructors can set the number of questions that will display at one time and whether the student must answer the current question set before moving to the next.
  • Feedback. Feedback can be made available to both students and instructors. Instructors can choose whether students will see the correct answers after submission, after the due date, or never. Instructors also have the option to provide default feedback, such as a section number or paragraph, to students if the correct answers are made available.

Select courses, such as Excel Educator, even include an actions log to compare student submissions and the ability to check for copied workbooks and flag copied cells.

And after finals week is over, you can review test scores in an easy-to-read, organized format. Every MyEducator course has robust, quick-capture analytics that show the number of students who completed the assessment, the average score, and several other factors.

Enjoy the peace of mind and simplicity of MyEducator’s built-in academic integrity measures!

References

University of Washington. Creating a culture of academic integrity. Center for Teaching and Learning. https://teaching.washington.edu/topics/preparing-to-teach/academic-integrity/

University of Washington. General Tips. Community Standards and Student Conduct. https://www.washington.edu/cssc/facultystaff/tips-for-preventing-cheating/general-tips/

University of Toronto. Classroom strategies: Talking about academic integrity. https://www.academicintegrity.utoronto.ca/smart-strategies/classroom-strategies-talking-about-academic-integrity/

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Request free instructor access to any resource. Simply let us know who you are, what school you teach at, which resources you would like access to, and we'll do the rest!