Exam Malpractice, can it be stopped using Technology?

Exam Malpractices are increasing day by day. It has become a threat to society. Competition to gain credentials for educational, occupational and social advancement pave the way to this act. Examinations have become a way to assess achievement and to determine if an individual has required knowledge to be employed. The pressure for achievement is high and this has led students to find alternatives.

There are various cases about cheating, fake identity and other ill practices taking place in the examination hall. Examination malpractice can take place within and outside the examination halls. Perpetrated by students, staff and external agents during examinations.

Forms of examination malpractice before or after examinations include:

  • obtaining a set of questions
  • changing student’s, answer scripts or mark sheets
  • submitting a project not written by the students themselves
  • breaking into staff or departmental offices to get question papers, answer scripts or mark sheets.

Forms of examination malpractice during examinations include:

  • Using another person to sit for an examination on behalf of a candidate
  • Bringing in written answers from textbooks, notebooks.
  • cooperating with an invigilator to cheat in the examination hall
  • Communicating or with other examinees
  • Copying another student’s work/answers in examinations

Examination malpractice is a plague on our education system. Educational institutions are finding it difficult daily to curb this act. Parents also positively intervene and help their children towards cheating.

Technology has proven to be a useful tool over the years and in the aspect of curbing examination malpractices, it can also be of help.

Below are ways that technology can help to reduce examination malpractice to some extent.

1. Computer-Based Tests
These have become popular since JAMB officials continue to attest how effective they are. Computer-based tests are reducing paper costs, exam malpractices and transportation/logistics costs. As a result, many small and medium institutions now issue admission tests and exams via CBT. Computer-based tests are faster and more flexible to deliver and process results.

2. Marking/grading software
Some colleges around the world are already making use of Artificial-intelligence marking software. Currently, WAEC is introducing an Item Differential Programme that can detect group work in exam results. Some software can now detect malpractice, human interference or make marking easier.

3. Biometrics
Both JAMB and WAEC now use biometrics for candidate verification. WAEC uses Credence One to integrate biometric verification on mobile devices. Schools can use biometrics for student identification and as a definite way to prevent impersonation.

4. Online registration
Online registration and verification of candidates is another way schools can standardize their tests. On skools.ng for instance, potential admission candidates are registered online. This ensures that the candidate limit isn’t exceeded and individual profiles and results can be screened and checked more easily.

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