Evaluating from a distance: breaking the circle of cheating and plagiarism

When we think of the evaluation of learning at a distance, we can wonder about the possibilities of plagiarism and cheating: is there more falsification in the presence or at a distance? Discussion with Serge Gérin-Lajoie, professor at TÉLUQ University, who offers some tips to implement.

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When we think of the evaluation of learning in a distance course, we can wonder about the possibilities of plagiarism and cheating: is there more falsification in the presence or at a distance? Discussion with Serge Gérin-Lajoie, professor at TELUQ University.

According to Mr. Gérin-Lajoie, the issues associated with plagiarism and cheating are sources of concern both in face-to-face and remote courses. “Currently, there are no studies showing that there is more plagiarism in distance education. We just know that the copy / paste phenomenon is growing, in all teaching methods. “Regarding the cases reported in spring 2020, it should be remembered that the teachers had to do their assessments remotely when this was not initially planned. This was also the case for the students.

“Evaluating distance learning is an important issue, it goes beyond the question of success or failure. Questions linked to the credibility of diplomas are sometimes associated with it, ”he recalls. In fact, in establishments that provide distance education, students are generally asked to come to a room where their identity is verified before proceeding with the assessment.

Evaluate otherwise

For the teacher, it is time to consider other ways of evaluating, of putting evaluation at the service of the learning and the progression of the pupils more than of checking whether they have learned. “Why not provide formative evaluation opportunities to give feedback and measure whether they are ready to do the summative evaluations, the ones that matter? ".

Mr. Gérin-Lajoie also suggests offering students choices in the types of assessment: choice of subjects, choice between a presentation or a written assignment, produce a video or a text, etc. He also mentions evaluating how they arrived at a product (work, examination, presentation) by asking them to complete a logbook, progress reports, provide a drafting plan, traces of calculations, etc. “Let us ask the students to explain themselves, to justify themselves and to be critical of what they have produced. "

Still according to him, by evaluating various elements associated with the learning to be achieved, the risks of plagiarism and cheating decrease. “And you get the elements necessary to create evaluation contexts in authentic situations that promote motivation, commitment and success. "

And you, what are your best strategies for checking prior learning and using assessment for learning, even at a distance?

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About the Author

Maryline Barrette Dubé
A graduate of a bachelor's degree in public communication, a “marketer” for more than 15 years, Maryline has been working to promote École branchée's activities and to publicize the organization's mandate since 2018. She is a devoted mother, an assumed epicurean. and IPA lover who, in her spare time, enjoys blog.

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