Have you ever found your test questions on the internet?

You may be surprised at just how much of your content is available on test bank and homework help sites. Few things are more frustrating for faculty than discovering that their online exam questions are available to students with a few quick clicks on the internet. Test bank and homework help websites make it all too easy to find and share your test questions, but what can you do to remove test questions online?

While most of these test bank and homework help websites were initially intended to provide students more access to study materials, there have been reports that students are using study sites to cheat on online exams. Students can easily copy and paste your test questions word-for-word; some are even in the chronological order as the real test. As an initial defense against this, many universities and colleges opt to lockdown internet browsers. However, standalone browser lockdown software only address a small portion of the problem. Almost every student has a cell phone or access to another device, such as a tablet. If an online exam only has a browser lock in place, students can easily search the internet using their cell phone or any other device.

So, the problem continues.

Some instructors add extra questions to their online exams to keep students on their toes. For example, if the online exam has 30 questions, instructors will add 10 more questions to the test bank as a way to ensure that no two exams are exactly alike. Adding extra exam questions is helpful, however, the questions can still end up on the internet – even the extras. 

It’s not only the number of test questions available on homework help and test bank websites that’s alarming, but the speed at which students can get answers from subject matter experts is equally worrisome. Even if you’re routinely adding brand new questions to your online exams, some “homework help” sites have a fleet of subject matter experts ready and waiting to answer questions in as little as 30 minutes.

Most homework help and study resource sites have honor code statements and terms of use declaring that students shouldn’t use their services and tools for cheating. Some even add that students who are suspected of using the platform to cheat will be banned from their site. However, some students will still find ways to cheat the system and themselves by cheating. 

“Most students want to learn and would not consider cheating. But the remote and unsupervised environment does not work for everyone and we also need to think about how we can best safeguard academic integrity for all,” said academic integrity expert and researcher Dr. Thomas Lancaster. If students genuinely don’t believe that they’re cheating or if they assume that other students are using the same sites and it’s no big deal, the problem continues.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced many colleges and universities to a fully online learning format. Now, more students are taking online courses and seeking more answers to questions on online study sites. “We can’t say for sure that cheating has increased during the pandemic, but all the visible indicators are that the potential for cheating has,” Lancaster explained.

How to remove test questions online

With the abundance of online resources available for students, how can you remove online test questions from the internet and prevent question sharing on homework help and test bank sites?

Remote Proctoring Software That Automatically Searches the Internet

Illustration of a safeOne way to ensure that your online test questions are not being copied and used by students is to implement remote proctoring technology that searches the internet for your leaked online test questions and content and then automatically removes it for you.

With Honorlock’s Search & Destroy feature, as soon as you enable Honorlock for your online exam through your LMS, an internet search is automatically conducted. If it finds any of your test questions online, Honorlock will request the questions removed from unauthorized sites on your behalf. This way, instructors have confidence that they won’t have to create new test questions each semester, and institutions can further protect their programs’ academic integrity. 

Cell Phone Detection

Phone with a prohibited icon on screenYou should also look for online proctoring services that deter students from using cell phones and other devices. The proctoring software should detect when these mobile devices are accessing test bank content during an online exam, and then capture a screen recording of the websites visited to provide evidence in the event of a violation. This remote proctoring function deters students from using their cell phones to put test answers online and protects the academic integrity of your online exams.


Honorlock Remote Proctoring Can Help Remove Your Test Questions From the Internet and Much More

Remote proctoring can do much more than deter mobile phones and remove test questions online. You can learn more about the exclusive features of Honorlock remote proctoring and how it can help you change the way you and your students approach online exams.



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