Addressing cheating when using test bank questions in online Classes


Academic dishonesty in online classes is widespread, and instructors’ attempts to minimize its effects have had mixed results. We validate one approach to reducing the benefits from cheating on online exams: the use of paraphrasing. In three online undergraduate auditing courses, we challenged students with a verbatim test bank question and a paraphrased question for each topic tested. The students performed better on the verbatim questions compared to the paraphrased questions (80.4% vs. 69.1%), even after we controlled for use of an honor code statement and online exam proctoring technology. Our results are consistent with the notion that, when faced with a paraphrased test bank question, students cannot easily find the answer on the Internet because the question does not exist in a verbatim form online. Our study is important for educational institutions and professors seeking to combat academic dishonesty and for instructors wishing to avoid the pitfalls of using test banks.

Publication Title

Journal of Accounting Education