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Preventing Cheating


Academic cheating is a form of deception where the student attempts to create an illegitimate advantage such that the classroom assessments do not accurately reflect the student's real abilities. The college policies that govern cheating can be found in the Academic Dishonesty section of the Student Conduct policies.

Having students read and sign a honor code or integrity policy at the beginning of the course may help discourage some students from cheating.

If you suspect that a student is cheating, please contact the Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs to discuss the appropriate response.

For help in identifying cheating, contact the instructional developer, a librarian, or the Office of Academic Affairs.

Spotting Plagiarism

Some things to look for include significant changes in writing style and the use of unexpectedly advanced vocabulary. Try using Google to search for suspicious phrases, or ask a librarian for help in locating potential sources of the plagiarized text.

You can also use, which is available at Windward CC. Turnitin can help catch deliberate plagiarism, but it also can help students learn to avoid inadvertent plagiarism by given them feedback while they are working on their papers. Contact Elizabeth Ratliff for more information on using Turnitin.

Require a Passing Grade in Proctored Exam

Adopt the policy that to pass the course, the student must pass the final exam (at least a D grade) and the final (comprehensive) exam will be a proctored exam (i.e. The Testing Center). Announce this up front so that students know that they have to learn themselves and not let someone else take the online tests for them.

Ensure that Exams are Proctored Properly

You can also create exams that require an additional password that is only given to the person proctoring the exam.

Proctored exams should also prevent students from using devices like calculators, PDAs, smart phones, cell phones, and ipods while they take the test.

Do not give proctoring information to anyone unless you are certain that they are legitimate. People can pretend to be proctoring an exam for the student.

Ensure that the Student Finishes the Exam in the Proctoring Area

A second password (entered by the proctor) will ensure that the student begins the exam.

To ensure that the student begins and ends the exam in the Proctoring area, create a final question for your exam that the student must answer at the end. Only the proctor knows the correct answer (which would then function like a password). The proctor must therefore begin and end the exam for the students. The student must get the final answer correct for the exam to count.

Procedures for having tests proctored beyond the Windward campus are available at the UH Distance Learning website.

Randomize Tests

You can randomize the questions (using a question pool) and also randomize the order of the answers in multiple choice questions.

Students Accessing Resources

When not proctored, students might treat the test as "open book" (open Internet, etc), so you might create questions with answers that cannot be easily looked up, or don't give the students enough time to look up the answers.

Create Assessments

One way to reduce cheating is to rely less on tests and more on project-based or team-based assessments.