How can instructors prevent cheating in online tests?

The Learning Technology Solutions team recommends designing assessments and tests that promote learning while keeping in mind that cheating is sometimes unavoidable.

Below you will find the basic tips needed to prevent cheating. For a full in-depth report, learn more about UIC Assessment Guidelines.


Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor are online proctoring tools that help ensure academic integrity on exams conducted remotely. Available only for exams conducted via Blackboard, instructors can access Respondus from the Tools menu in all Blackboard courses. Learn more here: How do I require Respondus Monitor for student testing?
Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard Learn. When students use LockDown Browser to take an exam in Blackboard, they will not be able to print, copy, go to other websites, access other applications, or close a test until it is submitted for grading.
Respondus Monitor builds upon the power of LockDown Browser, using a student’s webcam and video analytics to prevent cheating during non-proctored exams. If this feature is enabled, students will need access to a functioning webcam, microphone and broadband connection.


In the event that you cannot use Respondus, you can still prevent cheating in Blackboard.

Below are some common cheating situations while students take tests in Blackboard and how to prevent them.



How To

Students are emailing the entire class to join a chatting app to discuss answers.

Turn off email availability to the public but leave it so that students can still email instructors and TAs.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Customization > Tool Availability > 
  2. Click the contextualization button next to Email.
  3. Under Email Settings, unselect
    1. All Users
    2. All Groups
    3. Select Users
    4. Select Groups
    5. All Student Users
  1. Click Submit.

Students are taking screenshots of the correct/incorrect test answers.

Change the feedback options so that students cannot see which answers are correct. Blackboard defaults to showing the score upon finishing the test, so students can deduce if they got it correct.


Once you are ready to deploy, you will be presented with various options:


Under Show Test Results and Feedback to Students, change the setting to any of the following:

  • On Specific Date (Use if you know you’ll have the tests graded by then), or if you want them all released at the same time.
  • After Due Date (Ensures that students won’t be able to share their correct answers before it’s due)
  • After Attempts are Graded (good for essay tests)


*If you want your students to be able to see their test right away, you can still disable the answers by unchecking all the options below:

  • Score per question
  • Correct
  • Submitted
  • Feedback
  • Show incorrect questions

Students are working on tests together (“What did you get for #2?”)

Use the Randomize Questions option.

Once you are ready to deploy, you will be presented with various options:


Under Test Presentation, select Randomize Questions.

Students are working on tests together (“What did you get for #2?”)

Use the Set Timer option. You can set a timer to limit students’ completion time. You can set the timer to auto-submit the test when the timer ends or allow students to continue working and manually submit. You can view students’ completion times in their submissions.

Once you are ready to deploy, you will be presented with various options:

Select the Set Timer option and type the amount of time in the Minutes box. The maximum time you can add is 420 minutes. We recommend using Auto-Submit in conjunction with the timer.

Students are sharing answers from previous semesters.

Create more questions and answers using the Pools Option - this will create a bigger bank of questions. Then create a Random Block, which presents a random selection of questions each time a student takes the test. This ensures that students are getting different tests.

From the Control Panel:

  1. Pools: Course Tools > Tests, Surveys, and Pools. For more information about creating pools visit:
  2. Access the test. From the Reuse Question menu, select Create Random Block. For more information about Random blocks visit:


Article ID: 1171
Fri 1/15/21 6:32 PM
Fri 6/4/21 11:56 AM

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