Unfortunately, fraud during assessment happens. It can take the form of copying from a fellow student, using tools that are not allowed, and falsifying research data. One form of fraud is plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs when a student uses another’s texts or source material, without proper acknowledgement or when a student presents someone else’s work as their own.
Although you as an examiner can take measurements to minimise fraud (and thus also plagiarism), is it especially important to talk to students about learning, assessment and academic integrity. Emphasise students’ responsibility to show how they gained their knowledge and skills in a fair manner. Discuss, for example, how assessments are meant to facilitate a safe environment in which students can show what they can do and how assessments are a part of the learning process rather than an end goal in itself. In addition, students are not always aware of what qualifies as fraud. Discuss how you can work with academic integrity and refer students to tools they can use for this, for example the self-study modules and guides of the university library.
Measurements to minimise fraud
There are a number of measurements you can take to minimise the possibility of fraud and the need to cheat:
- Do not let the final grade of a course depend on one moment of assessment, but create multiple measurement points. Make use of, for example, intermediate assessments and continuous feedback.
- When working on a written assignment, offer students the chance to receive feedback from you or fellow students. This way a student gets the chance to make mistakes and learn from these mistakes.
- Design assessments with questions of a higher order such as application questions or questions aimed at analysis and evaluation, for example with the help of case studies and less aimed at knowledge and insight (Bloom’s Taxonomy). With questions of a lower order it is easy to cheat since the question can literally be looked up. As always, make sure these questions are in line with the learning objectives of your course.