Cheating in online exams: how to prevent and detect them

Preventing cheating in online exams is the goal currently sought by educational centers, HR managers and companies that have some...
2 June 2022

Preventing cheating in online exams is the goal currently sought by educational centers, HR managers and companies that have some kind of relationship with the new digital profiles of students, job candidates or employees accessing training and certification in remote environments.

If you belong to any of these groups, you are interested in reading about the existing solutions to manage your online exams, performance evaluations and certifications efficiently and safely. 

Is it easy cheating in online exams?

Digitization related to education and certification of knowledge and skills in remote has brought to light several problems for which solutions and control measures are needed to ensure the integrity of the results and the security of those taking tests in an online format.

Solutions to prevent cheating in online exams

Fortunately, there are quite a few solutions to prevent cheating in online exams and check that an online test is not fraudulent, ranging from the most homemade to the most professional and rigorous. 

We show you the most important ones below so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.  

Proctoring technology to the rescue

Proctoring is a technology that controls online tests and exams through remote monitoring at different levels. 

With this type of technology, it is guaranteed that the student or candidate is the one who is really taking the test, that they are doing it alone and that they are not helped by unauthorized external elements (web queries, support books or third parties). All this is achieved thanks to the control of cameras (generally a web camera and a mobile camera) that allows teachers to see and control the “work” space of examinees at all times. 

Another of the advantages of proctoring is that (in addition to visual control) it enables the monitoring of the examinees’ activity throughout the whole test, backing up this monitoring in a report that is delivered to the examiners.

Cheating in online exams: how to prevent and detect them

To apply the methodology associated with proctoring, the student or candidate must tacitly and previously consent to the educational or labor entity conducting the exam so that it can access and store their data during the execution of the exam. 

Without this consent, the application of this technology will not be viable.

At Smowltech, we know that each client is different, and that is why we have different proctoring products that adjust to the various possible control needs of the users and prevent cheating in online exams.

To make you aware of the true scope of this technology, you should know that proctoring provides three of the fundamental actions that, in isolation, are usually performed to avoid cheating in an online exam. These are: recording of the exam, room tour or control of the room where the test takes place, and monitoring of the examinee’s activities.

The system sends a report detailing the activities and incidents to the teacher or supervisor who, in some cases, may even allow access to certain pages or programs without it being a fault or an unpermitted activity on the part of the examinee.  

Timeout and countdown

In order to prevent the user from consulting the answers in books or with other colleagues, many online exams are designed with a maximum completion time and even warn of the time remaining to finish the test when there are only a few minutes left to deliver. 

Short answers to multiple-choice questions

If the problem to be avoided is that textual answers are sought, then test questions are a good solution. 

The examiner makes the design of the questions and the answers based on wording that moves away from what is contained in the study texts, avoiding memorizing as an option. A multiple-choice test is designed so that reasoning prevails over memory.

Reasoning over theory

Following the line of reasoning just mentioned, examinees truly demonstrate their knowledge when they can express the practical and reasoned part of the subject matter

Thus, with examples or arguments related to the complex object of the question, some students or candidates prove that they know how to give the correct answer. 

Unlawful conduct in open book testing

This type of online exam is known as Open Books and involves evaluating based on the argumentative capacity of the examinee.

Speaking online exams

They show live and direct the resolution of the questions by the examinee, who must deliver his examiner performance and sufficient knowledge of each subject to give the correct answer to each question and at the time.

Oral exams also put into practice the technique of shortening the duration. Dynamizing the tests avoids the need to consult third parties or additional means. 

At Smowltech, we strive to offer proctoring systems that meet all needs. To this end, we offer a variety of functions along with security levels created by artificial intelligence algorithms. 

And at the end of each test, you receive a report!

Don’t wait to be told and try SMOWL’s products for yourself – request a free, personalized demo! We have solutions for multi-device and multi-browser versions.

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