Your context

Investigate your institution's policies and guidelines on content validation...

As you work to assess student learning in your online or blended classes, you will probably face a challenge also experienced in fully face-to-face teaching and learning: how can you tell that they are really doing the work? Your institution is likely to have policies in place for validating student identity in online classes and programmes. The technology tools which support these policies typically include authentication features such as login IDs and individual access codes. Your institution is also likely to have guidelines related to student academic integrity.

academic integrity

Observing moral and ethical values in relation to learning, teaching and research.

Part of your online teaching role is to promote that academic integrity and assess the validity and originality of student work. Fortunately, you have a variety of technology tools which support this process and dissuade students from exploring workarounds.

With tests and quizzes, you can use technology tools to manage a combination of exam time, access methods, and exam characteristic settings, and better formulate an approach to validating authentic student work.

In the following activity, match the validating options on the left-hand side to the relevant procedures and tools for tests and assessment on the right by clicking on the boxes you wish to connect.
You will now be presented with a list of example validating options, followed by a list of tools for tests and assessments enabling these validating options. Decide which tools match with which validating option, then continue on to check if you are correct.

Useful links

Advice on avoiding plagiarism in one's own work, and on...

Did you know?

There are some interesting tools being used to verify online student identity...

Validating options

  • Limiting access
  • Limiting content
  • Varying content
  • Verifying content
  • Verifying identity.

Tools for tests and assessments

  • Ask students to submit papers to Turnitin or other applications for validation/plagiarism detection
  • Set exam opening/completion times; provide a password for access. Disallow multiple browser sessions
  • Use institutional personal data verification tools, or remote proctoring systems
  • Use question banks and set questions and answers to be random
  • Set questions to display one at a time, and avoid multiple-choice.

Correctly matched validating options and tools

  • Limiting access: Set exam opening/completion times; provide a password for access. Disallow multiple browser sessions
  • Limiting content: Set questions to display one at a time, and avoid multiple-choice
  • Varying content: Use question banks and set questions and answers to be random
  • Verifying content: Ask students to submit papers to Turnitin or other applications for validation/plagiarism detection
  • Verifying identity: Use institutional personal data verification tools, or remote proctoring systems.

Checking validity

Did you know?

Plagiarism checking tools such as Turnitin can be used to improve...

Checking for authentic work in research papers and projects is also a challenge in online teaching. With a plethora of information openly available, there is ample opportunity for your students to copy content and present it as their own. This can be frustrating when you are trying to assess and evaluate written assignments and projects.

Tools for validating these types of learning activities may be integrated into your LMS/VLE. The most common of these tools are plagiarism detection tools like Turnitin or SafeAssign, where student-submitted papers are checked for plagiarism and academic integrity. There are also a variety of free web-based applications that will allow you to search on text from student projects and papers to check authenticity. You can even use your favourite search engine to perform a simple web trawl on a portion of text from a student project or paper, to check for copied work.

Take time to review the available validation services at your institutions, and alert your students to the technology tools that are in place, letting them know that you will be using them to authenticate the validity and originality of student work.


Your context

Investigate your institution's policies and guidelines on content validation, plagiarism, and identity verification and authentication tools. Check to see if students are required to submit their work through a content review service, such as Turnitin or SafeAssign.

Useful links

Did you know?

There are some interesting tools being used to verify online student identity, including challenge questions, retinal scanning, facial recognition, voice recognition, and digital proctoring applications. You can read more about these approaches and processes in this report from Campus Technology: www.campustechnology.com/~/media
/2645357E755A40EF8F14E84808849AFB.pdf

Virtual e-proctoring services for learner assessment authentication are becoming increasingly popular. These services can include online test proctoring using webcams, microphones, and human beings to monitor test-taking. There are a number of commercial players in this emerging area such as ProctorU and Kryterion Corporation focusing on electronic identity verification. Teaching teams at Curtin University maintain a Scoop.It! content curation site on this at: www.scoop.it/t/rubrics-assessment-and-eproctoring-in-higher-education

Did you know?

Plagiarism checking tools such as Turnitin can be used to improve inexperienced students' awareness of academic integrity. Try setting up an assignment allowing resubmissions and encourage students to try to improve their 'Originality report' (or equivalent), each time they submit their work.