11 Ways to Prevent Cheating With WebAssign

WebAssign allows you to personalize the student experience so cheating is far less common than traditional paper and pen homework assignments.
We have outlined a variety of ways to stop students from looking up answers, comparing answers, and using outside resources. You can also find helpful tips to detect cheating in your course.
Continue reading to learn 11 ways to encourage academic honesty and prevent cheating in your course using WebAssign.

Help students take responsibility for academic integrity
1) Give students an introduction assignment on academic honesty
Check students’ understanding of academic integrity at the beginning of each semester to ensure they are fully conversant with it. The Math Success toolkit provides additional resources that can be used to help students understand the meaning of academic integrity. Students will also be able to complete the Academic Integrity assignment. This will allow them to engage in reflection on the impact it might have on their education.
2) Ask students to sign a pledge before taking an exam
It can be helpful to ask students to sign a pledge that they will not cheat on exams as an additional layer of security. As a pledge to academic honesty, you can place an Honor Code question at exam’s beginning. You can use Honor Code question ID: 4625294 as a starting point.

Stop students from comparing answers
3) Display Questions One At A Time
You can choose to display all questions at once or just one question at a time in the Assignment Settings. Students can compare their assignments by scrolling through all questions and searching for similar or matching problems. It’s more difficult to compare assignments if you only show one question at a given time.
4) Use randomized value questions
WebAssign has many questions that include randomizations. These randomizations show the same question but with different values for each student. Each student will be given a similar question but they will be working with different values. They will not be able share their answers. In the Assignment Settings, you can enable question randomization. If you don’t want randomizations in a problem, you will see a note underneath the question when adding it to the Question Browser.
5) Use Question Pools
Question pools provide additional randomization beyond the question values by giving every student a different question set. You can create a larger set of questions and then assign a fixed number to each student from that pool. The Assignment Editor has a Question Browser that allows you to access question pools.
Pro Tip: Try to avoid asking questions that are too difficult. Each question is given with the difficulty of the question and the usage to indicate the percentage of students who answered the question correctly the first time.
6) Randomize the Question Order
WebAssign assignment settings allow you to choose the order of questions randomly or manually. The randomization option prevents cheating by limiting the student’s ability to find another student with the exact same set of questions and the same order to copy.

Limit Answer Lookup
7) Ask New Questions From Term to Term
You can use the enormous amount of textbook questions in the question browser to create an updated version of the exam. This will prevent students who have taken a course previously from sharing test questions or other information with current students.
Pro Tip: To increase the number of content you have, save time and share your questions and assignments with other instructors.
8) Hide the question name from students
The question name is a string composed of characters that indicates its location in the textbook. This information may be used by students to look up the answers in the textbook, if possible. This practice is discouraged. Students will also have fewer chances to find the answer if they hide the question name.
9) Turn Off Randomized Text Highlighting
Red highlights are used to highlight words or values that differ between students in randomized questions. To make it more difficult for students to compare questions, you can disable highlighting.

Prevent the use of outside resources
10) Use a Secure Environment
There are many options available to create a safe environment for students to test. You can:
You can make sure students only work in designated environments by adding location restrictions to assignments that allow/disallow specific IP addresses.
Password-protect an assignment. The password should be distributed at the beginning. After students have started the assignment, you can change the password. This prevents students leaving the testing environment.

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