10 Ways to Prevent Cheating in CNOWv2

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As an instructor, academic dishonesty, or cheating, is likely a major concern for you–and rightfully so. Students have become even more creative in the ways they cheat, especially with new technology. So, how can you anticipate academic dishonesty and implement practices to reduce it? Let’s explore some ways to prevent cheating in your CNOWv2 course.


Create a secure environment

You have several options to establish a secure testing environment for students, including:

1) Set a password for the exam

Set a password for the assignment in your assignment settings, and distribute the password right before the exam begins. You can change the password after students begin the assignment to prevent students from leaving the testing environment and accessing the questions from another location. This will also prevent students from accessing the exam early.

2) Turn off printing for the test

While printing is a helpful feature for students with unstable internet, you’ll want to go into your assignment settings and turn it off for your exams. This will ensure students don’t print the assignment to share with others.


Limit students from looking up the answers

Here are some strategies to keep your students off Google and focused on your exam.

3) Use new questions from term to term

To prevent students who have previously taken a course from sharing test questions or information with current students, you can take advantage of the variety of textbook questions available in CNOWv2 and build an updated version of the exam.

4) Set a time limit
Give students less time to search for answers by setting a time limit for your test or assignment.

5) Hide question labels from students

The question label or question name is typically what students will use to search for the question online. Hiding the question name makes looking up the question much harder, which you can do in your assignment settings under questions.


Prevent students from comparing or sharing answers

6) Limit availability
Prevent cheating by making tests available for a short window of time. If tests are available for a long time, students have more opportunity to share answers. A short window of availability means students begin their tests at the same time and prioritize completing their own work.

7) Shuffle the question order
By shuffling the question order, each student will encounter the questions at different times. This will make it difficult for them to share answers, especially if they’re sitting next to each other. You can customize this in your assignment settings under questions.

8) Randomize question values
If algorithmic questions are included in your exam, you can have these questions generate different numerical values for each student. Students will be tested on the same concepts but have different values and won’t be able to share answers with each other.

9) Use question pools

Question pools are a great way to prevent cheating by adding another layer of randomization to your assignment beyond question values. To use a question pool, create a larger subset of questions, and then set a fixed number of questions from that pool to be assigned to each student at random. This will give each student a unique question from the pool. This prevents them from sharing questions and answers with others since they all have different questions.

As a tip, be sure to review the average time for each question in your pool to ensure some students aren’t given more difficult questions than their classmates.

10) Limit feedback until after the test
You might have some students who finish their tests early and can use the assignment feedback to assist others still taking their exam. To deter this practice, do not allow any feedback on students’ test performance until after the test is closed.


In summary, students will continue to find new and innovative ways to cheat, right? As the instructor, you can’t prevent cheating 100% of the time, but you can put practices in place to make it much harder for students to commit academic dishonesty.


With more learning and testing happening remotely, academic honesty concerns are growing and evolving. Are you wondering how you can adapt and maintain integrity in your courses? Check out our free eBook, Cheating and Academic Dishonesty, to learn about the ways students cheat, how you should address it when it happens and more strategies to prevent cheating.