prevent cheating

9 Ways Online Institutions Can Prevent Cheating

One way to prevent cheating in online courses is to create mandatory proctoring sessions for exams. This means that whether taking a nurse or teacher curriculum online program, students would be required to take tests under the supervision of a proctor who can monitor their activity. While this may add an extra step for students, it can help ensure that they are not cheating during exams. The following are more ways online institutions can help prevent cheating:

1. Verify True Identities or Test-Takers

When students register for an online course, they typically create a username and password. While this is the standard way of accessing online course materials, it doesn’t verify that the person taking the course is who they say they are. As a result, some students may try to cheat by using someone else’s account to access the course materials or take the exams.

One way to prevent this type of cheating is to require students to verify their identity with a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. This will ensure that only the actual students take the course and access the materials.

2. Use Online Proctoring Services

Another way to prevent cheating in online courses is to use online proctoring services. These services provide live monitoring of students taking exams and can flag any suspicious activity. Additionally, many online proctoring services will take a video or audio recording of the exam, which can be used as evidence of suspected cheating.

3. Set up Exams in a Secure Environment

When setting up exams for online courses, it’s important to use a secure environment that students can’t easily access. For example, some instructors use a learning management system (LMS) that requires a login and password. Others create exams that are only available on a specific date and time, so students can’t simply print them out and take them at their convenience.

4. Use Time-Limited Exams

Another way to prevent cheating is to use time-limited exams. This means that students will have a set amount of time to complete the exam, after which it will automatically close. This prevents students from going back and forth between the exam and other materials, such as notes or textbooks. Additionally, it’s important to randomize the questions on the exam so students can’t simply look up the answers.

5. Use Essay Questions

In addition to multiple-choice questions, many instructors also use essay questions on exams. This type of question is more difficult to cheat on because students have to write out their answers rather than simply selecting the correct response from a list. Additionally, essay questions allow instructors better to understand a student’s understanding of the material.

6. Prohibit the Use of Notes and Textbooks

Another way to prevent cheating is to prohibit the use of notes and textbooks during exams. This means that students will have to rely on their memory to answer the questions. Additionally, some instructors may choose to provide a list of allowable resources that students can use during the exam.

7. Monitor Student Activity

When students take an online exam, it’s important to monitor their activity to ensure they’re not cheating. There are a few different ways to do this, such as using an online proctoring service or taking a video or audio recording of the exam. Additionally, some instructors may choose to have a live chat session during the exam so they can answer any questions and help keep students on track.

8. Use Plagiarism-Detection Software

Another way to prevent cheating is to use plagiarism-detection software. This type of software can flag any instances of copied text, which the instructor can then review. Additionally, many plagiarism-detection software programs also provide a report that shows where the copied text came from, which can help identify cheating.

9. Provide Incentives for Honesty

One way to encourage students to be honest is to provide incentives. For example, some instructors may offer bonus points or extra credit for students who complete the exam without cheating. Additionally, some online courses provide a certificate of completion that can only be obtained if the student completes the course without cheating.


These are just a few ways that online instructors can prevent cheating. By taking measures such as these, instructors can help ensure that their students learn the material and not simply try to game the system.