What are some alternatives to proctoring?

Last updated on April 6, 2023

Online proctoring, via a service like ProctorU, can discourage cheating while taking online assessments and help identify students who cheat. However, proctoring is not an easy and simple solution. There is a lot to consider as this can be a very invasive strategy, and it does not guarantee that all attempts at academic dishonesty will be discovered. When evaluating whether proctoring is right for your class and students, always be mindful of the alternatives, as well as how to reduce harm when using a proctored solution.

  • Consider creating open-note quizzes and tests. Measuring a student’s ability to readily recall information is valuable in some applications, but there are many situations where you can test how well a student can synthesize and apply different concepts with free access to their notes, a textbook, or even the internet.
  • Avoid multiple-choice and true/false question types. These kinds of questions are much easier to quickly look up and cheat. Answers that require a student to write or calculate will be harder, but not impossible, to fabricate.
  • Looking up an answer is more time consuming than answering honestly, so you can apply a time limit to your exam to make academic dishonesty more difficult. This should not be done cavalierly, as short time limits introduce a great deal of stress for your students.
  • Explain your academic dishonesty policy early in your course, like in the Course Overview page of the Course Information module or in your syllabus. Remind students that you take cheating seriously in the quiz instructions. Being reminded of the consequences might deter some cheaters in the moment.