Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Practical examinations

What irregularities/cheating have you experienced during CAT practical examinations? I heard about learners passing around a flash disk, below the desk top, and copying files!
Click on Comments to tell of the cheating experiences in the computer class. Post the comments under Anonymous! Have your say! Maybe another reader will see something they can find useful.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the problem when learners are allowed to save their work on portable media or to bring portable media into the exam center. I remember that in the golden old days when we used stiffies and gave learners stiffies to save their work during exams, this also happened (swapping stiffies, etc.)
During exams, learners should save their work on the server/hard disk in folders created for this purpose and security measures should be in place so that they cannot access each other's folders.
These folders should then be retrieved after the session to a central place and then the teacher should write it to a CD. Flash drives are not recommended.

Anonymous said...

And when no flashes are used and all is saved to a hard drive - irregularities can still occur with kids passing flashes. Maybe learners need to be searched before an exam.

Anonymous said...

Server based file management is a must. But unless you disable usb in BIOS (which causes problems when using USB mouse and/or keyboard because it will not work). I disable the flash drive capabilities in windows which works 100%. If CMD is disabled(which means no netsend) and internet is off there is no way to cheat unless... if they print. What they do is they print excel formula and put there friends name in the header. When the teacher hand out the printed paper the friend receive the learners formula with the help of the teacher(inadvertently of course).

Anonymous said...

Printing is unecessary.
In CAT, most things cannot be verified from a printout. Rather spend the time and effort (not to speak of waste and money) that are used to print, to check CDs, learner folders and files to see if it is there, if it opens. This is the ONLY way to ensure that learners get the marks they deserve and also enhances security as there is a lot of dishonesty with printing during exams.

Anonymous said...

Mmm... there is also dishonesty when learners' work is marked from printouts. Markers are awarding marks for things perceived to be correct, though these cannot be verified from the printout.
I agree - there is no need for printing. In all the years of prac exams, I have checked the CD properly and ensured that files open from CD and had had no "comeback". I can testify to this as I have been a marker for many years.

Anonymous said...

The issue is not, printing or not to printing it was to point out ways in which learners can cheat in exams. You can't mark from printouts it's just for backup.

BGR said...

It's an absolute pleasure to mark from computer and not from hard copy. I don't have all that wasted paper, no names (my psychic skills are no longer needed), the tiring job of checking if everyone has printed is a thing of yesterday and of course, I simply back-up and my work is there for future reference. Of course I ensure I don't have viruses etc so if my work is checked externally I don't contribute to the nightmare.

yonnie said...

They email each other the files, so you need to check if the internet is connected or not. The best solution is for invigilators to make use of classroom management software such as SynchronEye/Netop, so that they will be able to monitor if learners are using the required programs for the exams.

Jess Perelson said...

I've never had a problem during exams, however I have experienced copying of projects. What I have done to eliminate this problem is to issue each learner with a unique word as a password for all their projects. Only myself and them know their password. This means that other learners cannot access their project to copy and they cannot copy an existing file and claim it is theirs because it has someone else's password on it.
Since I've implemented this protocol I've eliminated the copying of tasks. However, this is not a practical solution for exams. I'm lucky in that my school has a full time IT administrator who looks after the networks and solves any problems we have. He sets up a drive that is purely for exams with randomized passwords for each learner. We have at least 2 invigilators in a lab of which one must be a CAT teacher or the IT administrator. No portable media are allowed in the lab (cell phones are handed in before they enter the lab)and the internet is disconnected (I literally pull the chord).
We also do not print. We do make a minimum of 2 CDs of the learners data and the IT administrator keeps another copy on his laptop in addition to the copy on the exam drive. We decided on this method after we had a problem with the CD I had to mark off. Luckily the original exam drive had not been deleted.

Shirley said...

I have just had 15 of my Gr 12 learners cheat in their Practical Task for Term 2. Passed flash drives around, changed names on printed copies, etc. Unfortunately for them, they were caught out, all were given 0 for the task and made to sign a declaration form admitting to their dishonesty.
I have changed over to disks for the June exam, so hopefully the dishonesty will be something of the past.
I was most disappointed in my students.

Anonymous said...

We have a linux server set up as a domain controller and all learners have their own user name and password. This also restricts them from changing any internet settings or enabling usb ports which have been disabled as administrator. So far... so good....

Nokuzola said...

I dedicate a certain amount of time to doing practical work because 99.9% of my learners do not have an access to a computer. this is time consuming but then I dont have an alternative I just have to accommodate them. we even come to school during holidays because we cannot finish our work in time

Nokuzola said...

I disconnect the network cables during exams which makes the learners not being able to copy each others work or communicate electronically with each other. I dont allow flash disks in the exam room, all learners save their work in their hard drive then I retrieve it from the server.