Exam Security

The purpose of this page is to promote the design and administration of online exams that inhibit cheating and prevent the unauthorized distribution of exam materials by use of effective practices in the following areas:

Instructors can consider alternative assessment and assignment options. See "Create Online Assessments"

Security Measures

Use Remote Proctor Technologies

Proctorio is an automated online proctor tool integrated into Canvas quizzes that uses students' webcams and microphones to monitor their activity and look for suspicious behavior. Proctorio is centrally funded and supported at no charge to students or academic units. Read how to Use Proctorio with Canvas Classic Quiz. A Proctorio Student Guide is also available.

Employ Browser "Lock-Down" Software

This can reduce access to other software, applications, and data.

The Respondus LockDown Browser which locks down the browser testing environment is available in the University of Minnesota Canvas applications. The LockDown Browser prevents students (especially in campus testing labs) from printing, copying, visiting other websites, or accessing other applications during online exams. This application is not considered fool proof, but can deter most students from cheating. Enable Respondus LockDown Browser on a Canvas Quiz.

Exam Design Logistics

Adjust Weights

Adjust the weight of the exams relative to the overall grade in the course, while increasing the weight of project and assignment activities.

Assigning higher point values or percentages to assignments and projects helps to offset the grading weight generally associated with exams. If you are using Canvas for your course, you may use Assignment Groups to adjust exam and assessment weights.

Require Students to Agree to an Honor Statement

Within the Quiz description in Canvas, you can add an honor code statement similar to what Pharmacy uses in their online quizzes (see below). The description should state that by attempting the quiz, you accept and agree to all statements made within the honor code. Another way to reinforce academic integrity is to have students sign a contract emphasizing the University's academic integrity policy and outlining consequences for violations.

Honor Code Used in PharmD Online Quizzes

Each student is bound by the College of Pharmacy Honor Code, which states, "Academic misconduct is any unauthorized act which may give a student an unfair advantage over other students, including but not limited to: falsification, plagiarism, misuse of test materials, receiving unauthorized assistance and giving unauthorized assistance."

You are required to do your own work on this quiz, and any assistance you receive from another student, or any assistance you give to another student will be considered unauthorized, and subject to penalties to be determined by the Honor Council.

By taking this quiz, I certify that I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance.

Make Students Aware of Canvas' Tracking and Logging Abilities

If students understand that their actions within Canvas are recorded in log files, they will be less likely to attempt to circumvent technology. Please contact Canvas Support for questions regarding student tracking and student activity logging.

Exam Properties

Use Question Sets

You can randomly generate quizzes or exams for each student.

Using question sets to randomize quizzes and exams has several advantages. Each student is presented with a unique test which makes it very difficult to collaborate with other students during the exam. It also deters students from copying their question set and passing it along to their peers who may not have started the exam yet.

Set Limits

Limit the duration, number of attempts, and how the questions are delivered.

When you limit the duration of a quiz, it diminishes the time that a student can spend looking up answers. Delivering one question at a time can prevent copying or printing of the exam. Limiting the number of attempts can help prevent collaboration and ensures that students don't have multiple attempts to answer the same question sets.

Limit the availability period of an exam.

If an exam has a long availability period, it is possible for a few students to take the test early on and share the questions/answers with other students who have not yet taken the exam.

Wait until the exam availability period ends before providing exam feedback.

Prevent students from seeing which questions they missed until all students have taken and submitted the exam.

Question Properties

Randomize Multiple Choice Quiz or Exam Answers for Each Student

Canvas allows you to randomize the answer order for multiple choice questions. This feature makes it more difficult for students to share answers if they are presented with the same question. Combining question sets and randomization of answers is a very effective technique.

Use "Calculated Questions" When Applicable

Formula quiz questions are designed using variables. Random values, based on user specified range, are automatically generated for each variable in the question. Learn about creating Formula quiz question with a single variable.

Increase the Number of Open-Ended or Essay-Style Exam Questions

Open-ended questions generally require students to have a greater understanding of the material and make cheating more difficult.

Increase the Frequency of Short Notice (Pop) Quizzes

By providing short notice (pop) quizzes during the semester, students have less time to coordinate the sharing of answers during quizzes.

Write Effective Multiple Choice Exam Questions

By planning carefully multiple choice questions can better align with your course outcomes. See a presentation (PDF) by Christina Petersen, PhD, Center for Educational Innovation.