Design written assignments
To create good assignments requires reflection. As students have free access to other sources of information, as in a home exam, extra thought is required for the examination to be conducted with high validity and reliability. Below are recommendations to keep in mind when designing exam assignments, with a focus on counteracting cheating
Wordings of the assignment
Below are some examples and recommendations to keep in mind when designing an exam assignment.
The purpose and design
The purpose determines the design. Is the course divided into different parts/themes and this task describes some of the intended learning outcommes (ILO) objectives or can all ILO be reported with the assignment. See "Connect examination to teaching" on the Home exams page for examples.
When designing you also has to think about; How far should the students' work be, word limitation? What file formats may be submitted? How much time is the student expected to have spent on the assignment? When and where should the information be submitted?
Designing for the assessment
The student must have knowledge of what is being assessed. Keep in mind that this should not be an extra checklist for the student. Is the task graded pass/fail or the entire grading scale A-F or are there different tasks corresponding to different grading levels.
Formulations in the wording of the assignment
Formulating an assignment so that it gives students the right idea of what is expected of them can be difficult. A help can be to use words from the image below of Bloom's revised taxonomy.
Wordings to avoid cheating
Here are different recommendations for counteracting cheating through the wording of the assignment.
- Future workrelated tasks
- Current events
- Different approaches and solutions
- Variation of the same assignment
- Time limit
Future workrelated tasks
A good way to design the examination is to think about how the student will work with the subject when they have complete their studies. Such examinations not only prepares the student better for work but is also usually more difficult to cheat on. Few work tasks can be solved with cheating.
Base assignments on information from current events, it makes it more difficult for the student to find someone else's old solution.
Different approaches and solutions
If during an examination it is desired that all students should work with exactly the same assignment, it is good if the assignment can be tackled in several different ways. Assignments with several possible approaches and solutions are more difficult to cheat on. Inform the students that there are several solutions so that they are aware that it is strange if all students has done exactly the same solution.
Variation of the same assignment
Letting students have different variations of the same assignment can also be a good idea for helping the student not to cheat. The values can be varied for each student by, for example, basing the values on the students' date of birth or with the help of random values in a quiz or if the task does not concern values, questions can be randomized to the students with the help of Item banks.
Limit the time students have to work on the assignments. Think about what suits the question, a few hours or several days. A time limit affects both the scope of the students' work and their opportunities to take illicit help.
Presentation form to avoid cheating
Vary the context
Put the question in a specific context. For example, that the solution to the problem should be presented as it would be present to the project manager, the boss, a younger sibling. etc. This reduces the student's ability to search for a complete solution. To vary a specific assignment, students may have the same task but are asked to report "for different people".
Ask for your own reasoning
Calculations should be commented on in the student's own words. Although a calculation should look the same for a group of students, the student's description of the calculation should vary as they use their own words. Commenting assignments also helps the student to carefully check the calculation when it is complete and consolidate the knowledge by processing the assignment a second time in an alternative way.
Written texts and Ouriginal (new name for Urkund)
A recommendation is also that, if the submissions consist of computer-written text, link them to a record in order to quickly get an initial review of the students' work. Here is more information about how a Canvas task is created and linked to Ouriginal .