Tips for preventing cheating and ensuring assessment security: Part 2

julie-smallPosted by Julie Chazyn

My previous post offered three tips on making your assessments more secure and preventing cheating. Here are four more. You will find additional information about this in “Delivering  Assessments Safely and Securely,” and I’ll be mentioning other security tips in my future posts. I hope you will respond with your own ideas about avoiding the problem of cheating on tests.

Screening participants who achieve perfect scores

Given the rarity of achieving perfect scores on assessments, consider doing some investigating when you see perfect scores. Many organizations do this automatically. This might  interview the exam proctor and do other checks to ensure no suspicious behavior has occurred.

Verifying expected IP addresses

If you are administering an assessment  at a specific location, you will likely be able to obtain  the IP address of the computer being used. You can then tell whether participants took the assessment there or at an unauthorized location.

Using Trojan horse or stealth items

Use Trojan horse or stealth items to help detect whether a participant has memorized the answer key. Stealth items look just like the other questions, but they are purposely keyed incorrectly. You can include these items are generally included as non-scored items on the assessment. They will help you detect if a participant is simply memorizing content and keyed correct answers, since they will likely choose alternatives that they have memorized. Participants with overall reasonable assessment scores who got the stealth items “correct” might have memorized the answer key.

Reveal that cheater prevention tactics are used

Informing participants that reviews are regularly conducted to identify cheaters is a simple way to decrease the temptation to cheat. You don’t need to provide details about the sort of reviews you conduct, but do let participants know that cheater-detection tactics are regularly employed.

4 Tips to Help Ensure the Security of Intellectual Property

julie-smallPosted by Julie Chazyn

Protecting the intellectual property contained in a test or exam is essential, not only because of the time, effort and cost of creating assessments but also because IP theft undermines the accurate measurement of knowledge and skills.

Protecting intellectual property protects the credibility of tests. Here are four tips for helping to ensure the security of intellectual property:

Create and administer multiple test forms

Rather than having only one form of the assessment being administered, delivering multiple forms of the same exam can help limit item exposure. This method also allows for the possibility of interspersing large-scale integrated beta test questions within the forms to collect psychometric information on newly developed questions.

Restrict and control administration of beta test items

Beta testing questions is an important part of high-stakes assessment, ensuring the psychometric quality of questions before they appear on actual assessments. However, it is vital that a well conceptualized beta test model is in effect to limit the exposure of newly developed questions to participants.

Update exam forms periodically

Letting exam forms become stale can over-expose questions to participants, increasing the likelihood of IP theft. An organization could consider retiring old exam forms and turning them into exam prep materials that can be sold to participants. In this way, participants could periodically expect new practice questions.

Produce exam prep materials

Organizations should consider making exam prep materials available to participants before an assessment. This will help reduce the demand for participants to try to obtain exam questions via illegal means as they will have access to the type of questions that will be asked on the actual assessment.

For more details on this subject, plust information about various means for deploying a wide range of assessment types with assurance, download our White Paper: Delivering Assessments Safely and Securely.