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Prevent cheating on canvas exams

Hi all, I am a university instructor and have some questions concerning students possibly cheating on Canvas exams. I've recently heard it is possible to find the correct multiple choice answer by using the 'Inspect Element' tool and reading through the coding. 

1. Are you actually able to decipher which answers are correct/incorrect by using Inspect Element. If so, how? 

2. I know that if a student were to open a new tab, Canvas would show that the student navigated away from the exam page. Would the Inspect Element flag this for the same reason? Or would it not be considered a new tab? 

3. I have also heard of the "15 second rule" about navigating away from the exam page. What does this mean? Does it exist? I was under the impression that Canvas alerts as soon as a student clicks onto a new tab, or does it only flag for it if it has been over 15 seconds? 

Thank you for any input


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5 Replies
Learner II

A related thought just occurred to me: What if they use an incognito tab?

Realistically, anyone with a second device can look things up during a Canvas exam and not interrupt their Canvas viewing.

I know some of our professors are "proctoring" their Canvas exams, using Zoom, and requiring their students to keep cameras on; so the instructors can see eye movement and if they pick up a smartphone, tablet or laptop...

Surveyor II

I didn't see a way to see the answers via the Inspect Element view.  

You are correct. With a second device it is easy to look things up even with something like LockDown Browser.  The only solution would be some kind of proctoring software or as your colleagues do, watch them (which I think is creepy).   


Sorry I don't have any input on your other questions but I'd like to find out myself! 


what if the student didn't open a new tab. The student opened a pdf file of lecture note. Will canvas log mark flagged?

Surveyor II

If you are concerned you can utilize Respondus. It is a lockdown browser. I included the link to their site here. It is a paid feature and one the university I attend uses.

I don't use it in my course, but as a student, it is very effective for the prevention of using any sources during exams. 


Surveyor II

If I am reading the responses correctly, this question has not been clearly answered.  Can students see whatever code is involved in questions?  I'm not even sure how to ask this question correctly.  Can students cheat by utilizing inspect element or something like that?