How to protect online testing integrity

9 ways online proctoring can protect academic integrity


  1.  Low Stakes Assessments – Nothing is worse for a learner than to realize their midterm or final will be taken with new proctoring software.  “Who are these people?  Does my school not trust me? What if the software glitches and I can’t finish my test?”  Rest assured, none of that will happen with Honorlock, but your test takers might not know that. Use low stakes assessments – provide a practice test or think of fun quizzes so that students can get comfortable with the proctoring software in a stress-free environment.
  2. Test Banks – Use test banks that to randomize questions for students students. And make sure that is known so they won’t be tempted in the first place!
  3. Concepts and Understanding – How questions are worded can make a big impact on how to gauge understanding. For example, try to craft questions that students answer conceptually rather than a simple definition. Using concepts helps students learn more and actually tests their knowledge.
  4. Limit Information Access – It goes without saying that limiting access to information during test-taking is the reason for proctoring services.  You need your students to be able to show they master content without looking up information. But, you also need to make sure you don’t lock them out of necessary information they don’t need to commit to memory in order to solve a problem or demonstrate their mastery of a particular subject.  Things like figures and tables they need to solve a problem should be provided in the question or websites whitelisted in the proctoring system. This helps students not spend precious brainpower remembering models when you really want to see if they can solve a problem in context.
  5. Knowledge Application – An important aspect of teaching and learning is how well your students can apply the knowledge you taught them. Keeping reference material at bay during a test shows you they have mastered the material and can apply it. This is important to employers as well. Employers will one day take that student as an employee.
  6. Trust, but Verify – Using online proctoring on all tests lets students know that it’s an expectation of your course. It’s also important to have a conversation with students about why academic integrity is so important – to the school, but also to the students who will have earned their degree in your institution. 
  7. Syllabus Information – Your syllabus can work wonders in explaining expectations, test rules and why cheating is never an answer.
  8. Find Methods to Observe Behavior – Anyone that has developed online learning will tell you what one intends sometimes is not what is practiced. This means that students can sometimes misunderstand specifics that you might have felt were obvious. For that reason, it’s important to pencil in a full quality check that includes reviewing the usage logs (who is having trouble), watch the proctoring videos, or maybe even a search of student discussions.  All these help you see how your testing is being consumed so you can tailor it if need be.
  9. Request feedback Let students know you want to know and encourage them to provide feedback to you. 

Tip:  Listen to the feedback objectively and then do something constructive with it.  It could be something as simple as someone needs further explanation, but you won’t know if you don’t ask!

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