Monday, October 7, 2013

11 Tips to Help Prevent Cheating and Ensure Test Security

I just read a post by Julie Delazyn on the Questionmark Blog that I wanted to share with you concerning cheating and test security.

We have previously covered many topis concerning cheating, but this post is a little different as it focuses more on the test developer and delivery system. Some of Julie's points can be used in a classroom setting so I hope you will take the time to read all eleven items. Here is Julie's post in its entirety:
With the summer behind us, it’s officially fall, and that means schools, colleges and universities have launched into a new academic year.
In this time of tests and exams, the security of test results is crucial to the validity of test scores. Today, I’d like to introduce 11 tips to help prevent cheating and ensure assessment security.
1. Screening tests – A small pre-screening can be administered to prevent people from taking an assessment for which they are not yet prepared.
2. Candidate agreements – Candidate agreements or examination honor codes are codes of conduct that a participant must agree to before they start an assessment . Candidate agreements generally are phrased in a personal manner ; the participant agrees by clicking on an ―OK‖ or ―Yes‖ button to the code of conduct for the exam
3. Limiting content exposure/leakage – In order to limit the amount of question content being shown to a participant at any given time, consider using question-by-question templates. These present questions one at a time to participants so that exam content is not completely exposed on screen.
4. Screening participants who achieve perfect scores – Many organizations will automatically investigate participants who achieve perfect scores on an assessment. Perfect scores are rare events, and could be attributed to a test-taker having had access to answer keys. The Questionmark Score List Report provides a fast and easy way to identify participants who obtain 100% on their assessments. An organization can then conduct an investigation of these participants to ensure that no suspicious behavior had occurred.
5. Verifying expected IP addresses – If assessments are to be taken from a specific location, often the IP address of the computer in that location will be known. Verifying expected IP addresses is a useful way to screen whether participants somehow took an assessment from an unauthorized location.
6. Reviewing time to finish information – The overall time it takes for a participant to complete an assessment can be a useful way to screen for suspicious behavior. If a participant takes a very short time to complete an assessment yet achieves a high score, this could be an indication that they cheated in some way.
7. Using Trojan horse or stealth items – Trojan horse or stealth items can be used to help detect whether a participant has memorized the answer key. Stealth items are inserted into an assessment and look just like the other questions, but they are purposely keyed incorrectly and one of the distracters is marked as the correct answer.
8. Post information that cheater prevention tactics are used – Inform participants that cheater -detection tactics are regularly employed. This can help to deter the low – motivation cheaters.
9. Proper seating arrangements for participants – Implementing a seating plan where participants are equally spaced, with limited ability to see another participant‘s screen/paper, is an import strategy.
10. Using unique make-up exams – When offering a make-up exam, make sure to administer it in the same strict proctored environment as the scheduled exam. Also, having another test form available specifically for make-up exams can lessen the risks of cheating and exposure for the actual large-scale exam.
11. Using more constructed response questions – Constructed response questions, like essay or short answer questions, provide less opportunity for participants to cheat because they require them to produce unique answers to questions.
Related posts:
Top 20 Resources for a Successful Testing Program
Five Tips to Prevent Your Student From Cheating
5 Keys to Creating a Successful Testing Program
Reporting Test Results to Parents
10 Questions Every Parent and Student Should Ask About Testing
Study Tips and Skills
Test Anxiety

Friday, October 4, 2013

New from CIMC: Career Focus STEM Careers

Career Focus STEM Careers Edition is a new career exploration and preparation guide created by CIMC. This full-color magazine combines essential career guidance with web activities and “skill builder” opportunities to help prepare students for college and career opportunities.

Articles include:
  • Identifying Possible STEM Careers
  • Highest Pay in STEM
  • STEM Careers You Might Not Have Thought About
  • Individual Career Plans, Career Clusters and Pathways
  • Online Tools for Career Planning and Preparation
  • Getting Ready for College
  • Finding Job Opportunities
  • Managing Your Digital Dirt
  • Strategies for Networking
  • Career Myths and Realities
  • CareerTech Champions in Science
  • Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
 About CIMC:
CIMC develops quality, competency-based instructional products and services for career and technology education. High school programs, area technology centers, junior and community colleges, proprietary schools, and government agencies are users of CIMC products. Business and industry customers are also learning of the training and cost advantages of using CIMC instructional systems. Several industry groups and trade associations have participated in the development of their products and services.
You can reach CIMC to order online, by phone, or by fax:
• 800.654.4502
• 405.743.5154 (fax)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Education On Demand..... Within Your Hands

Dr. Robbie K. Melton
I recently had the opportunity to meet Dr. Robbie K. Melton who is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Mobilization and Emerging Technology for the Tennesseee Board of Regents (mTBR) and a well known "Appologist."

Robbie oversees mobilization strategies and initiatives for the sixth largest statewide system of public higher education in the country: mTBR serves students enrolled in 46 institutions throughout the state (six state universities, 27 technology centers for technical/vocational education, and all of the state's 13 community colleges).

A significant part of her function is to study technology and its current and future application on education. More specifically, mTBR seeks new innovations in emerging technologies, social networking, gaming, simulations, amd virtual worlds for the purpose of increasing recruiting, retention, graduation rates and to improve teaching, learning, and workforce development. TBR creates teams that are composed of staff, faculty, students, administrators, and industry partners who are tasked with working on specific problems related to both mobile technology and its use in an education context.

Robbie and her staff are provided with the latest technology and a classroom evaluation is conducted to determine how students interact with the devices (the evaluation also includes general usability, ADA, durability, and security issues). Besides students, they provide support to instructors and staff as well. I think it's an interesting that Robbie noted that a "digital divide" exists between student and instructor, but it's typically the instructor that has the out-dated mobile device.

Now for the exciting part.... TBR maintains a mobile app resource center that points to extensive collections for education: 70,000 apps and counting. The site is easy to navigate with drop-down menus for the type of app, mobile device, academic area, workforce cluster, etc. The site also provides ratings for mobile devices and has a plethora of videos and presentations as additional resources.

Robbie is a dynamic speaker that has a passion for not only educational technology, but for it's application. I hate to say it, because I like my job, but I think Robbie has one of the coolest jobs in education. Don't you agree?

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