Online Class can be an easy "A" for cheaters

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</a> Courses Can Offer Easy A’s via High-Tech Cheating - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education](<a href=“]Online”>

Do you take any tests online, and, if so, are there ways to cheat?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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…

I found this article fascinating (“Shadow Scholar” was mentioned in the original article):

[The</a> Shadow Scholar - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education](<a href=“]The”>

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.

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…

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.

I’ve been asked to take two online courses for some one so that they could improve their gpa. I laughed in their face!

redeye, I would’ve intentionally bombed the quizzes for them, and if there’s a discussion board maybe post rude comments.

LutherSetzer–Right…unless someday someone DOES check and you get fired for not having a degree from the institution you claimed to be a graduate of.

Then we’ll read about you in the news.

The funny thing is that the cheating can almost be eliminated by requiring that students attend a monitored class to take all finals and midterms. Tests should never be given at home or online.

I took 2 AP onlines this past year and I made 2 easy A’s while learning next to nothing in the classes because many of my friends took the same classes and shared work and test answers. It was incredibly easy. Some tests immediately show the correct answers upon their completion, and this page of answers would be emailed to those who still needed to take the tests. Even the tests in which I didn’t have answers for I could find the questions and answers online. Big joke. Most of the blame should be put on the teachers of these classes however, for making their tests and work easy to share.

This is an interesting subject. As a former United States Marine, I was only able to fit online classes into my schedule. After leaving the Marines, I just finished my second semester at community college. I honestly think that my online classes were much more difficult than my brick and mortar classes. I attended Penn State so perhaps they have a more rigorous standard than other online schools. All my test were open book but the test were so hard that if you didn’t know the material you would have bombed bad. My answers were not online so I really think it comes down to the professors teaching the class. I think some of these colleges that are for profit (ie. University of Phoenix) have professors that are there for the paycheck and not for the students and so they use the exact same test for years, allowing students to copy answers instead of learning the materials.