Is there a way to prevent students from cheating while taking quizzes online?
Loretta, to be honest it is very very hard to prevent students from cheating and would require either a 3rd party software (ex: Respondus Lockdown browser) to do the monitoring or for students to take the quiz while in a proctored setting. Even then it's hard to say that you can fully prevent students from cheating.
Beyond third party software or proctored environments, there are some ways you can set up your quiz to reduce cheating:
Hope this helps!
Here is one suggestion, but it comes with a caveat. Back in the early 2000's "Best Practices" weren't flying all around us to adopt. I didn't have advice on this matter, but I had one teacher who very simply said that she was going to give her 10-point quizzes that she used to hand out in class, only now she was going to offer them online. She had me set the time limit to 5 minutes, can only take the quiz once, results and grades are available once everyone has taken the quiz.
Now, I can vouch that for at least two or three semesters this method worked.
I did work for a school afterwards were I learned a lot more about test anxiety (from a neurological standpoint, not just my own personal distaste for them) and I accepted that fact that students could literally panic when they consider the time crunch of the narrow window.
Also, there are certainly some courses and disciplines that would lend themselves to a simple, short quiz, but even as Kona Jones mentioned, short of Lockdown Browser (which can't prevent open book), or ProctorU (which the school enters a pricey contract, or you can have the students pay a fee for each test), there is almost no way to completely prevent cheating. My wife is an online student and several of her teachers take the same approach, and they even say (however I am condensing and simplifying their statements), "You can use your book, you can use your notes, you can use Google, but time is not your friend, and if you know the answers you can complete the quizzes in time.
There is a "physical appearance" option for online courses, and while it most certainly exists, it is reducing in popularity. At one school where I consulted, they had a "Basic Skills Lab" and were set up as a proctor site for the community. As I looked around, there were proctor sites in literally every city with a grocery store. You could require that your students find a proctor site, complete a proctor form and get that to you or your department for approval, then you could have them take their tests and quizzes within a generous window of time. Admittedly, it defeats the "online" aspect, but it removes the doubt and suspicion aspect, too.
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