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Can you make the rest of the course unavailable during a quiz?

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I was wondering if there is a way to make the rest of the course material unavailable during the quiz.  I suspect that some of my students were cheating on the last quiz when one of them came up to ask a question and I noticed that the lecture material was open in another tab.  I was hoping to be able to lock down the lecture material during the testing period, so that they can't copy the material during the test.  I also don't want to be looking over their shoulder the whole time to see if they are cheating.  Some of my classes are online only, so I can't even see if they are cheating.  Any suggestions to make the course material unavailable once the test has been opened?

Julie Willis

Anderson University

1 Solution

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Community Coach
Community Coach

jwillis@andersonuniversity.edu​, there is no built in functionality to prevent students from cheating like this. There are some paid options that could do this like Respondus LockDown Browser. Something else to consider is that you can view the quiz logs for each student and see if they had another window open - How do I view a quiz log for a student?  You could tell them that you are checking this and will penalize them if you catch them. This will help if you're in the classroom and you know they aren't using their phones or another computer, but if there is a possibility of them being able to access these other things then it won't help as much.

Hope this helps!

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3 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

jwillis@andersonuniversity.edu​, there is no built in functionality to prevent students from cheating like this. There are some paid options that could do this like Respondus LockDown Browser. Something else to consider is that you can view the quiz logs for each student and see if they had another window open - How do I view a quiz log for a student?  You could tell them that you are checking this and will penalize them if you catch them. This will help if you're in the classroom and you know they aren't using their phones or another computer, but if there is a possibility of them being able to access these other things then it won't help as much.

Hope this helps!

View solution in original post

Community Team
Community Team

jwillis@andersonuniversity.edu​, schools all over the world are struggling with the issue of academic integrity and authentic authorship in their fully online courses. Some points to consider:

  • As kona@richland.edu notes, there is nothing built into Canvas that would prevent students from opening other windows or tabs. Even if there were, most students have multiple devices; trying to rig up Canvas so that it prevents students from navigating to another tab or window would not prevent a student from looking up information on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, for example.
  • Many schools require that certain activities, such as high-consequence exams, be proctored. This is not only to prevent the type of cheating you have described, but also to verify that the individual taking the exam is the same individual who registered for the course (a federal requirement for online programs). This can involve having the student come to the school's proctoring center (where proctors often have screen monitoring software of their own that immediately detects a student navigating away from the Canvas quiz page) or having the student arrange a mutually-agreed-upon proctoring site where he or she will present credentials and take the quiz.
  • Some schools have implemented at-home webcam proctoring solutions (ProctorU comes to mind, but I know there are others). These have a cost associated with them; at my school, the cost of the proctoring service comes out of students' fees. Many schools require the student to pay this fee in addition to tuition.
  • Last, but hardly least, much of the hard work in preventing cheating comes in the design of the exam itself. An online exam that truly assesses a student's abilities and subject matter mastery needs to consist of questions whose answers can't just be "googled" or copied from other course material; the answers to these questions must demand next-level thought from the exam taker. A strict time limit on the quiz itself, delivering questions one at a time, randomizing questions, and drawing from a large question bank base, are just some of the ways teachers implement good test design. You might want to visit the Instructional Designers​ and Higher Education​ spaces to talk with designers and other educators about how they construct the quiz questions themselves to mitigate cheating.
Community Team
Community Team

jwillis@andersonuniversity.edu, further to my comment of a few moments ago, I just ran across this recent discussion of the pros and cons of the Respondus Lockdown Browser; you might find it germane: Respondus Lockdown Browser