Online assessment expert shares academic tools and resources for educators to prevent student plagiarism


Going to the web for teaching and learning doesn’t have to be the den of student cheating (intentional or not) as some make it out to be. In fact, online tools–if you know how to choose and implement them–can promote academic honesty at whole new level.

The internet empowers students with readily available means to compare answers, use outside resources, and look up answers to their online assignments and exams.

With answers literally at their fingertips, instructors using ed-tech tools are often challenged with maintaining their students’ academic honesty.

Instructors need to be familiar with methods that make cheating far more difficult than traditional paper and pen homework assignments, and how to check for signs of cheating in their class. With the help of sophisticated ed-tech tools, instructors can easily check for signs of cheating and employ methods to crack down on student dishonesty.

The following tactics help provide peace of mind when it comes to academic honesty and ensuring that students maximize their learning potential. These best practices can be used for homework, quizzes, or exams.

While these methods are effective, they can limit student learning when used simultaneously—so it’s important to consider all available resources and create your own cocktail of cheating prevention tactics based on your own classroom goals.

1. Randomized questions prevent students from comparing answers, as different variations of the problem will appear to students. While the problem type is the same, the numerical values and solution is different.

2. Consider using question pools, a collection of prepared questions on a single topic. Question pools let instructors develop a large list of questions on the same concept and assign each student a different set of questions from the same pool to ensure a similar, but distinct, homework experience.

(Next page: More ways to promote academic honesty)

Add your opinion to the discussion.