Cheating Using Publisher’s Test Banks-An Update

In integrity on November 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Part of course redesign includes re-evaluating test questions and re-evaluating the value of standardized tests, especially in online courses.

This blog entry notes that using publisher test banks made it easier for students to cheat. This is nothing new…I’m sure you’ve heard of frat house libraries where members of fraternities have access to previous exams. How do they get them?

1. Each frat member memorizes a couple of questions and copies them down

2.Each frat member removes one page of the test

3. Someone steals a test (e.g. when extra copies are distributed down the rows)

High tech versions:

1. Copying and pasting the test questions

2. Taking the test with 2 computers open (one to take the test, the other to copy the test questions)

3.Using cell phones to take screen shots

4. Using screen capture programs to take screen shots

5. Texting answers to each other

I am sure you can think of more.

Should we (instructors) function as the “cheating police” and stop this from occurring? My answer is YES!  We should try to maintain as much fairness in test conditions as possible. In a later post, I’ll talk about some of the ways we can do that.


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