How teachers can ensure the academic integrity of assessments in an online learning environment



How teachers can ensure the academic integrity of assessments in an online learning environment

Assessment is essential for assessing learning and acts as a communication channel between students and educators, especially in online learning. With a student population of over 250 million, the transition to an online course modality was quite difficult for the Indian education system which relied mainly on traditional methods.

Face-to-face classrooms allow educators to physically observe students and can help assess comprehension levels more quickly during discussions. In contrast, online classes require teachers to take extra steps to ensure a fair and inclusive assessment environment. By adopting an inclusive assessment strategy, educators have the opportunity to gather valuable information, help improve teaching, and improve program effectiveness, regardless of platform or format. Teacher effectiveness and student learning will ultimately depend on the quality and integrity of the design and delivery of assessment.

Distance learning and the challenges of misconduct

Educational institutions are required to protect assessment procedures against professional misconduct, while ensuring that students presenting their work in difficult circumstances are treated fairly. They should also consider the number of activities assigned to students and ensure that they have enough opportunities to create their best work. Sometimes, to compensate for the lack of in-person interaction, educators tend to give more written work and performance assignments, which can overwhelm students who may then resort to shortcuts.

This can potentially lead students to resort to questionable means such as the use of cheat sheets, plagiarism, contract fraud and identity theft. They may also resort to different types of misconduct, such as using translation engines and text engines to bypass integrity tools, as well as AI text generators and compute applications to complete issues. exams. To help with academic integrity in assessments, educators can incorporate the following steps:

Create different variations of the test by reformulating and changing the layout of the questions to avoid student collusion. Educators can use scoring software with built-in response aggregation and learning analysis capabilities, which can help identify meaningful patterns in exam responses to support scoring and assessment.

Incorporate ‘metacognition’ strategies for relevant assessments that encourage students to show their work or explain their thinking process, which also supports their creative and critical thinking skills.

Enforce assessment security measures such as setting a completion deadline for students aligned with school assessment policies and the academic calendar. Educators can also use tools like browser locks and test tracking tools to manage the testing environment against prohibited materials or outside help.

Provide regular formative feedback and support to encourage critical thinking and maintain student originality in assignments

Take advantage of advanced integrity tools to not only check for text and code similarities, but also to identify deliberate text manipulations designed to bypass plagiarism checkers and detect signs of contract fraud.

Writer is Regional Director – South Asia, Turnitin India



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