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Academic integrity in digital age

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With a rise in online classes, many educational institutions are asking the question, how can they maintain academic integrity in the digital age. More and more students are getting educated through online sources, to match courses to their busy schedules, avoid long commutes or to save money.  "Well, people who are local to the Shreveport area, they have the option of coming in and actually taking the exam at an assigned time.  They don't have to pay for the exam.  Then I proctor it," said LSUS Math Instructor, Joe Andary.

But with technology comes those who will try to game or cheat the system.  "It's something that all of us face when we have students who teach classes that are online.  All of my things are password protected, such as my lectures or any lecture notes, that I put online. That is how I try to guard against it. But again it is something that we all face as people who teach classes online," said Andary.

In March of this year, The Caddo Parish School Board confirmed 18 high school seniors managed to manipulate their grades while taking an "E 20/20" platform.  An online course study system.  However, the district's network manager said the incident was rare. "Because of the complexities of password policies we have in place; actually, the incident at Southwood is related to a third party application, which means we do not manage, and we do not put in place any policies, as it relates to password complexity," said Network Manager of Caddo Schools, Rickey Jones.

What about safeguarding the test themselves? LSU-S administers eight sites with computerized exams that are monitored byboth s and surveillance cameras. "I watch the screen and a lot of times, it's just really boring and they are just sitting there doing their test and I glance over when I see movement and like I said they could have answers in their sock you know, pull those out so I would notice some kind of movement like that," said LSU-S Exam proctor, Cheryl Irvin.

"In user education, what we try to do is tell our users, on a daily basis or maybe a weekly basis, how to protect your passwords and how to keep them safe," said Jones.


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