Academic Integrity and Canvas Exams

Though cheating is certainly not unique to the online environment, many instructors have  reasonable concerns about opportunities for students to cheat online. These concerns may include:

  • inappropriate access to resources when completing an online assessment
  • copying answers or text found online
  • sharing answers with other students
  • contracting with a third party to complete online classwork

There are many approaches to decreasing the likelihood or ability for students to cheat in the online environment.

Course Redesign: Consider combining or replacing objective tests with other methods of assessment, such as projects, collaborative work, writing assignments, and personal reflections. Multiple choice and essay questions requiring application of skills and knowledge rather than simple factual recall are harder to cheat on. Consider designing tests as open note/open resource so that you do not get caught in an “arms race” with students. Consider requiring students to turn in drafts of projects and written work (for feedback from instructor and/or peers) well in advance of a final due date. Alter assignments and tests from semester to semester. Consider including more formative assessments and activities, and making high-stakes objective assessment a smaller portion of the overall course grade.

Proctoring: For objective assessments critical to the learning outcomes for an online course, consider using the MiraCosta Proctoring Center. For students at a distance, the Proctoring Center can help to establish proctoring in other locations. You may also consider the use of an online proctoring technology; Proctorio is available to MiraCosta faculty for this purpose.

Code of Conduct and Instructor Leadership: Discuss with students the reasons why academic integrity is important. Emphasize the benefits (and pleasures!) of truly engaging with course material and learning, rather than focusing on grades. Have students sign or even jointly develop a statement summarizing the expectations and requirements for academic honesty. Include a question on exams that has students agree to the code of conduct and/or that has students indicate that they have completed the exam on their own without using prohibited resources.

Making Canvas Exams More Secure

When conducting tests through Canvas, the following methods can further reduce the risk of cheating. Note that as of fall 2018, Canvas has two different tools for conducting tests – Quizzes (the original) and Quizzes.Next. Quizzes.Next is still being developed; at this time it has both advantages and limitations (view a comparison and/or a Quizzes.Next FAQ) compared to the original Quizzes tool, but it is expected to eventually fully replace Quizzes. Canvas guides for both Quizzes and Quizzes.Next are given for each item below as applicable.

  • Availability Window – Restrict the availability of the test to a specific date/time range. Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Time Limits – Limit the time a student can spend on a test once they start it. Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Disallow Multiple Attempts – Multiple attempts is a great option for a “mastery” quiz where you want students to retake it until they achieve a certain level of proficiency; this isn’t typical of a summative, high-stakes assessment. Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Delay Per-Question Feedback (Quizzes only) – Providing students feedback on each question can help them learn; delaying the availability of this feedback until after the test availability window is over can help ensure the integrity of the exam. Quizzes [As of fall 2018, if feedback is built into a Quizzes.Next assessment, it is provided to students immediately and cannot be delayed.]
  • Answer Randomization – Answers to multiple choice questions can be randomized/shuffled so they are presented differently for different students. (Note: In Quizzes this is one setting for the entire quiz; in Quizzes.Next this is a per-question setting.) Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Present Questions One at a Time – This can make it more difficult for students to “collaborate” if questions are also randomized. An additional option can prevent students from going back to previous questions, which can further strengthen the integrity of the exam, but can also frustrate students who legitimately realize they made a mistake on a previous question and wish to correct it. Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Shuffle Questions (Quizzes.Next only) – This will present the quiz questions to students in random order. Quizzes.Next
  • Question Randomization with a Question Group/Item Bank – Drawing questions randomly from a pool (or pools) can make it even more difficult for students to productively share questions during an exam. Keep in mind that if your pool contains more questions than the number of questions you are drawing from the pool to go into the exam, you need to be careful about maintaining consistency of the questions within the pool (both in terms of outcomes measured and difficulty of the questions). Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Calculated (Formula) Questions – Formula questions can include a range of values for one term/variable. Thus, the same question will have unique answers across different quizzes, but the question can still be auto-graded. Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Require Presentation of ID – if you are not using a physical proctoring center, but you would like students to demonstrate that the person taking the test is the person enrolled in your class, one suggestion is to have students record a brief video holding a picture ID next to their face. If you use Proctorio, this step can automatically be included when enabling video proctoring; if you don’t, you could add an Essay question that directs students to access their webcam through the Rich Content Editor and record this. Of course, this requires students to have a webcam (and still wouldn’t prevent the student from doing this, then having someone else complete the rest of the exam). Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Restrict Computer Activity During Exam – Technology such as Proctorio enables faculty to require that student’s computer and browser are “locked down” during an exam, preventing students from opening other browser windows or applications, taking screen captures, etc. This requires specific technology on the student computer. Note that Proctorio as of fall 2018 works only with Canvas Quizzes, not Quizzes.Next.

Online Ed Info for ALL MiraCosta faculty

Happy fall, everyone. Please see below for important online education-related updates and information for all MiraCosta faculty.

Canvas Updates

Lots of new features are available in Canvas, which is now the sole course management system at MiraCosta. These include a more streamlined way to use Turnitin, an updated Gradebook, a brand-new Quiz feature, a new integrated accessibility checking/correction tool, and more. Read more.

If you are still getting familiar with Canvas, remember to check out all the great Canvas resources we provide, and at this time especially our Start of Semester Canvas Checklist.

Online Academic Support Resources for ALL Students

As you finalize your syllabi and course resources, please make your students aware of online tutoringonline writing center, and the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service. These services are open to all MiraCosta students in any class!

Preferred Name Change Form for Students

Students who prefer to be known by a different name from their legal/formal name on record may change their name via SURF – instructions are here. Preferred name is used in Canvas, on class rosters and student ID cards, and to borrow items from the college library. Students may also stop by Admissions and Records to submit a paper Preferred Name Change form.

Designating Zero- and Low-Textbook-Cost Classes

If you are teaching a ZTC or LTC class this fall, please ensure it is designated as such in SURF – see directions to do so.

You can view more details about ZTC and LTC designations, as approved by the Academic Senate.

For faculty teaching at least one online/hybrid class this fall:

Fall Student Orientations to Online Learning

I will offer many online learning orientation sessions this fall. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. Read more, including how to get a report from SURF on which of your students attend.

Online Class Schedule – UPDATE and beware HTML

For all those teaching an online or hybrid course this fall, please make sure your class description is up to date on the separate Online Class Schedule page. Students use this page to learn how to get started with your class, and you can provide other important information to help students prepare for success. See detailed instructions if needed. Please note: if you have done this in the past by copying text from Word or other sources, you may have introduced HTML that causes your course description to be inaccessible. Please type directly or copy in plain text only by copying from NotePad on a PC or TextEdit on a Mac.

CCC DE Faculty Survey

The California Community College Chancellor’s Office conducts annual surveys of faculty and students involved in Distance Education. Be on the lookout this month for a survey if you taught a DE class in the spring, and please take the time to complete it – your input is invaluable!

Come on and Zoom-a-Zoom-a-Zoom-a-Zoom!

You might have to be of a certain age to get that headline. Anyway, Zoom is a great tool for live online interaction that has now replaced the old CCC Confer (Blackboard Collaborate) in the CCC system. Learn more about Zoom.

NetTutor Online Tutoring Service

In addition to eTutoring, an online tutoring option for MiraCosta distance education classes is NetTutor. Unlike eTutoring, NetTutor provides extensive coverage up to 24×7 of just about any academic subject, and is available via a link embedded within Canvas. The link would take students directly to the subject-specific tutoring area with no additional login required. Also with NetTutor, each instructor may specify “Rules of Engagement” that inform tutors about the approach and resources you would like them to use when working with your students. Contact me if you’re interested in NetTutor for your fall class(es).

Distance Education Requirements and Guidelines

Please review the MiraCosta online class quality guidelines. The document has two parts – (I) Essential elements for all distance education classes as already required in department and college policies (especially AP 4105 and the Syllabus Checklist), and (II) Good practices featuring principles and examples commonly recommended for consideration in online education.

Captioning Support

Videos included in your online course materials should be captioned. 3CMediaSolutions is a video storage and streaming system for California Community College faculty that provides free professional captioning as an option when you upload your media to the site. It’s a great way to manage your media and to get everything captioned. You can also work with Robert Erichsen of DSPS to submit media for captioning through a special grant-funded program. Please contact him to learn more: rerichsen@miracosta.edu

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
miracosta.edu/online | tic.miracosta.edu
OC 1254, MS 11A
1 Barnard Drive | Oceanside, CA 92056
(760) 795-6745

@jjulius | Linkedin

 

Updated Tools & Features to Try in Canvas

Behind the scenes, Canvas is updated regularly. Check out some of the updated tools and features available in MiraCosta College’s Canvas. (Note: The list below is intended to highlight the most significant changes – but many smaller updates occur frequently).

Summer 2018

  • New Gradebook – The New Gradebook is a beta feature that allows instructors to view an improved version of the Gradebook. This feature makes grading more flexible and intuitive. As of early fall 2018, each instructor interested in this must opt in; within the next 6 months this is likely to become the default Gradebook.
  • Quizzes.Next – Canvas’s new quiz/test assessment engine. Quizzes.Next will replace the original Quiz function in the near future (late fall 2018 or spring 2019, most likely). Quizzes.Next assessments are a particular type of Assignment rather than a distinct tool.
  • Turnitin LTI 2.0 Canvas Plagiarism Framework – An update to Turnitin available within Canvas that offers a tighter integration between a Canvas assignment and Turnitin, relying on Turnitin for plagiarism checking but using the native Canvas tools such as rubrics and speedgrader for assessment and feedback.
  • UDOIT – The Universal Design Online Content Inspection Tool, or UDOIT (“You Do It”) enables faculty to identify and correct many accessibility issues in their MiraCosta Canvas courses.
  • Dashboard List View – Students and instructors may change the Dashboard view to a list format with to-dos, feedback, and other activity organized by courses. Instructors can now set Pages and non-graded Discussions as to-do items. Students and instructors also may add their own personal to-dos to Canvas.

What is on the Horizon with Canvas?

New Canvas Gradebook

The New Gradebook is (as of August 2018) an opt-in feature that allows instructors an improved Gradebook experience. Check out the How do I use the New Gradebook? Canvas guide for an overview of the features this provides. It is expected that within the next 6-9 months, the original Gradebook will be removed and everyone will use the New Gradebook.

Opt in to the New Canvas Gradebook

Enable the New Gradebook

In MCC Canvas within a Canvas course:

  1. Click Settings at the bottom of your course menu
  2. Click the Feature Options tab
  3. Click the toggle button to the right of New Gradebook beta. The New Gradebook is on when the toggle button is green and a check mark is displayed.

New Gradebook Toggle-OnAccess the New Gradebook

In MCC Canvas with a Canvas Course:

  1. Click Grades (from the course menu)

New Gradebook View

New Gradebook Resources

  • How do I use the New Gradebook? – Getting Started with the new gradebook.
  • New Gradebook Guide – Table of Contents – All guides for the new gradebook for instructors and students.
  • Canvas Release: New Gradebook – The new gradebook is a beta feature that allows instructors to view an improved version of the gradebook. This feature makes grading more flexible and intuitive and elevates the gradebook user experience.
  • New Gradebook Users Group – This group contains existing information about the new gradebook including frequently asked questions, product feedback commentary, community discussions, bug reports, and known issues.

Turnitin LTI 2.0 Canvas Plagiarism Framework

As of summer 2018, an update to Turnitin is available within Canvas and offers a tighter integration between a Canvas assignment and Turnitin. No separate login or password is required for faculty or students. For fall 2018, Turnitin may be used within Canvas both via this updated method or via the previous method – see External tool vs. Plagiarism Framework for a comparison.

Eventually (perhaps by late fall 2018 or spring 2019) it is expected that Turnitin will only be available via the method described here. MiraCosta College has an unlimited license to Turnitin, GradeMark, and Peer Review.

Turnitin LTI 2.0 Canvas Plagiarism Framework

Turnitin LTI 2.0 Resources

Testing a Turnitin Assignment with your MCC Sample Student

Turnitin is an LTI tool that is globally installed on our Canvas system. LTI tools are not native to Canvas so they will not work in the internal Canvas Student View. You must log off of Canvas, as an instructor, then log on with your MCC Sample Student account. Now you will be able to experience a Turnitin assignment within your Canvas course as a student.

Additional information

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