Summary: Making some basic changes to your quizzes can make it more difficult for your students to cheat.
Cheating, be it on Wall Street or in the classroom, does seem to be a fact of life or a facet of human nature but when it is your learners who are cheating on the course that you spent a lot of effort designing, you might suddenly become less indulgent. And let’s face it, there are a number of ways to cheat in Quizmaker if you, the designer, let them get away with it.
Take this quiz for example. It is a question about when I was born. There are two questions and unless you happen to be very clever or very lucky, you are unlikely to get both answers correct, though it is statistically possible of course!
But there are at least three ways to cheat in this quiz…
- Did you notice the review button at the end? Well it does not take a lot of genius to understand that if you review the quiz, you will automatically see which answers are correct and which are not, which means, of course, that you can take the quiz again and pass.
- Print the certificate and it tells you which questions are right or wrong. There is nothing to stop you taking the quiz a second time and getting full marks.
- Find someone who gets the right results and then just click the Print Results button without even taking the quiz. You get asked to enter your name which you do and hey presto, the certificate prints out your name with the correct answers and a pass mark.
So what can I do about it?
Well if all that sounds rather depressing, do not despair. You can stop all of that cheating if you follow the steps below. It might not be necessary of course. It all depends on your context. But if you have a sneaking suspicion that is something is afoot with your results, and that your students are really doing too well, then read on!
Change the color scheme so that the Review Quiz function will NOT show which answers are correct. Actually this won’t work for all question types so if security is a big issue, you might want to actually avoid using those question types.
How do you do it?
- In Quizmaker 2, go to Edit -> Colors and Effects.
- Change the ‘Correct color’ so that it matches the ‘Background color’ of your quiz.
- Now publish.
You’ll see that when you review the answers, you won’t be able to see the correct answers any more!
Here’s the example above corrected:
Note: This will not work for all question types in particular the Word Bank and sequencing questions.
If you want the quiz certificate or printed results to be personalized, then DON’T let them put their name in at the end of the course when the results are known. Make them enter their name at the beginning. That way, anybody wanting to copy will have to do the whole quiz themselves.
How do you do it?
Simply add a Survey type question to the beginning of your quiz asking for the required information. You can add several questions if you like. Because they are survey questions, there is no scoring and so the final result will not be affected. BUT the answers will show on the print results output. So you will know who did the test. Here’s an example:
Notice that I have removed the option to add the user name when printing results (Quizmaker -> Quiz Properties -> Results -> Features). Now, when you view the certicate, you see the name and other details at the beginning of the quiz reponses.
Change the course certificate such that the correct answers are not displayed. This won’t prevent cheating totally but it will make it more difficult for the student to go back round a second time.
How do you do it?
You need to edit the report.xml file in the Quizmaker published files or program files. Here are how your published files may look:
An application which I find useful for editing xml and one which allows me to specify which lines to edit is Notepad2.exe which you can download here (choose the first binary files download). It is open source and free and, like me, you might find it useful.
If you open report.html with Notepad2.exe rather than the standard Windows Notepad, you’ll see that all the lines are numbered.
To remove the correct answers from the certificate you need to delete the following lines:
Here is an example with an amended certificate:
One drawback with this approach is that you keep having to changed the published files which can be a hassle if you want to publish to a server. An alternative to the above is to actually changed the report.html file in the program files.
- Go to Program Files\Articulate\Articulate Quizmaker\player\web\ and you will find the same report.html file as in the published files.
- Take a backup copy of that file and call in report_copy.html and then edit the report.html as before.
Now, every time you publish, the report.html will automatically have those changes included without you having to edit the published files every time.
So here is a final quiz. You know what day I was born, you know what time I was born, now, can you find what date I was born? If you get the answers right, then the quiz will tell you, but if you don’t, it won’t, and you won’t be able to cheat!