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Online Class can be an easy "A" for cheaters

Roger_DooleyRoger_Dooley Founder Posts: 106,392 Senior Member
edited October 2013 in Online Degrees
An interesting article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed shows that online testing technology isn't keeping up with student cheating creativity. The article describes one scheme in which several students perform a sort of round-robin testing scheme in which they share questions and answers via Google Docs (now Drive). Despite question randomization and a short window of opportunity to take the test, this scheme allows all of the participants to ace the test.

Various anti-cheating systems are in the works, but it doesn't look as if most schools have implemented systems that fully prevent cheating.

Online Courses Can Offer Easy A's via High-Tech Cheating - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Do you take any tests online, and, if so, are there ways to cheat?
Post edited by Roger_Dooley on

Replies to: Online Class can be an easy "A" for cheaters

  • DraxulaDraxula Registered User Posts: 123 Junior Member
    I am currently taking several online classes and it is extremely easy to cheat. It is quite sad actually as students literally go crazy trying to find the answers. I was doing a project for an online class and saw a user posting his ENTIRE quiz on Yahoo Answers and Wiki-ask. Online classes are an easy "A" for legitimate students, but and easier "A" for cheaters. Glad to see anti-cheating systems in the works.
  • ZombieDanteZombieDante Registered User Posts: 3,895 Senior Member
    Yeah in my state if a student fails a class they have to complete an online class called "A+". They are allowed to log in just about anywhere, which of course means a lot of cheating. Many students will go around asking people the answers to the test. Also I will literally see them google every question, and the sad thing is that 99% of all the questions have been asked on Y!A or Wiki answers at least 3 times.
  • TheTransferGuyTheTransferGuy Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    The bright side, (or dark depending on your view) is that only the entry level courses are easier to cheat on like this. Classes like Art History or Music Appreciation are much easier to find answers to rather than an upper level Marketing class or something of that nature.

    Lessoned to be learned: The cheating will catch up to them when they haven't learned a thing through all of their entry level classes.
  • cc123sbcc123sb Registered User Posts: 455 Member
    Classes that can (i.e. history, english) should definitely steer away from online tests if they can. Replacing tests with something that can't be copied, such as projects, could help eliminate the notion that online classes are a complete joke.
  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ Registered User Posts: 6,673 Senior Member
    My son took his high school U.S. government class online through BYU. The basic assignments were fairly hard - although I don't think he tried Googling the answers - and there was a significant final project (a lot of essays) and a proctored final. It was a legitimate government class. Gov just did not fit into his senior year schedule; I'm glad this online class was available to anyone anywhere.
  • SweetheartCrocSweetheartCroc Registered User Posts: 589 Member
    Most of these problems are easily addressed by requiring tests to be taken at proctored testing centers. For example, proctored exams are required by most online classes at Florida State University. I'm surprised that any reputable school doesn't require this for any major exam.
  • tedders83tedders83 Registered User Posts: 265 Junior Member
    I took a couple of online classes a while back. One had every quiz and test taken in a proctored center, and the other was entirely at home, and very easy to cheat on.

    It's things like this that cause online college degrees to be considered worthless. The employer can't possible know if the college had anti-cheating software in place.

    One of the real things that cause this, in my opinion, is the required courses that students simply view as a necessary hurdle they need to cross in order to get to the more interesting advanced courses. The solution to this would either be to make all courses interesting (not gonna happen) or change requirements and things around. This cheating problem in online classes doesn't look like its ending soon.
  • XaviFMXaviFM Registered User Posts: 952 Member
    I took online class at UW and I didn't like it at all. I would rather sit in lecture and quiz sections. I don't think I could learn as much as I could when I was face-to-face with a professor.
  • mommusicmommusic Registered User Posts: 8,301 Senior Member
    My S will be taking an online Music Appreciation course this summer. The course explanation says they give you two chances to take the quiz (you can improve your grade if you aren't happy with the first result.)

    Sounds like that isn't really necessary....
  • CTTCCTTC Registered User Posts: 2,234 Senior Member
    I found this article fascinating ("Shadow Scholar" was mentioned in the original article):

    The Shadow Scholar - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • NeoDymiumNeoDymium Registered User Posts: 2,304 Senior Member
    I only like online classes for classes that I legitimately could not give a rat's ass about (it's only a requirement, something like a BS required humanities class). The temptation and ease of cheating is why.
  • IRgovmntIRgovmnt Registered User Posts: 30 New Member
    I thought the entire point of an online class was to understand the concepts and materials presented. From my perspective, my instructors have made the material in online quizzes and tests extremely obscure and difficult in order to prevent cheating. Intern, students do bad which usually results in the instructor adding 2 or 3 points to the quiz or test. How fair is that? I take my time reading and outlining the chapter, memorizing names, places and dates, only to find that I got a 65% on a quiz due to the obscure wording of definitions. I could go on and on about the subject of world religions from the 3 chapters we have covered so far. But according to my grade, I don't know the information very well...
  • LBowieLBowie Registered User Posts: 1,842 Senior Member
    I am ashamed to say I know someone, an adult who has a good job as a medical professional, who takes on-line courses for people as a side business. She negotiates a price with them, then takes all their quizzes.

    I've taken on-line courses myself. One professor required me to find a local proctor (like a kndly librarian) to whom he mailed the test. At the time, I hadn't yet met the above mentioned course-taker-for-hire, and thought the proctoring thing was a pain in the but. Now in retrospect, I can see why he does it that way.
  • redeye41redeye41 Registered User Posts: 339 Member
    I've been asked to take two online courses for some one so that they could improve their gpa. I laughed in their face!
  • BlueProtomanBlueProtoman Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
    redeye, I would've intentionally bombed the quizzes for them, and if there's a discussion board maybe post rude comments.
This discussion has been closed.