Asee peer logo

Writing Online Exam Questions That Discourage Dishonesty

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

New Faculty Issues and Concerns

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1321.1 - 8.1321.6



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Barbara Christe

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3275

Writing On-Line Exam Questions that Discourage Dishonesty

Barbara Christe Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis


How does an instructor create assessment tools which will promote individual student work within the on-line learning environment? What techniques will diminish the success of students who attempt to circumvent restrictions on information access? How can instructors limit the opportunities for students to cheat? This paper will focus on the design of assessment tools, papers, quizzes and exams, which are appropriate for the unique conditions and circumstances of the web-based learner. Areas of concentration include the assumptions that must be made when designing exam questions and other assessment instruments, suggestions for the construction of test questions and techniques for successful test administration. The paper will also explore indicators of successful assessment in the on-line environment.


Typically, one of the first questions that an on-line educator receives is “How do you handle cheating?” After more than thirty course offerings over four years, the author replies, “Carefully!” There are many aspects of instructional security that can be explored and this paper addresses only one of them. All of the techniques to promote appropriate academic conduct are carefully interwoven. It is important to consider a multi-layered approach. Aside from testing security, on-line classes require other measures which include • Behavioral objectives • Deadline establishment • Clearly identified expectations and policies for the particular class • Superior communication between student and instructor (anonymity encourages dishonesty) • Web-tracking tools to monitor student activities • Identification of university policies and expectations for proper academic performance • Enforcement of policies and procedures • Outline of the benefits of the information available within this course (job, etc.)

Efforts must all work toward the accurate representation of student comprehension of the material. Combining techniques and procedures adds to the ability to ensure individual student work. However, in the same way that traditional classrooms differ in the success of promoting “Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Christe, B. (2003, June), Writing Online Exam Questions That Discourage Dishonesty Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12455

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015