Have You Ever Cheated on a School Test?

Sep 4, 2013


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by Geoffrey Murase, Solutions Marketing, VMware

The incentive to cheat is highly correlated with what is at stake.  For example, in preschool, it’s pretty rare to see a child copy another classmate’s finger painting because not much is at stake.  However, in high school, getting good grades means getting into a good college.  That’s where I was first exposed to the temptation of cheating on a test.  I recall one class where the teacher gave the same multiple choice test every year.  Students taking the test could get the answer key from upperclassmen who had already taken the class the year earlier, and come up with some type of mnemonic such as “Every Day A Big Cat Buys Dinner” (EDABCBD) to memorize the answers and get a high grade (missing a few questions on purpose to remove suspicion of cheating).  I can neither confirm nor deny involvement in this practice.

When people think of cheating in school, they usually think of students as being the culprits.  However, the incentives for educators to show improvement in student performance on high stakes state standardized assessment tests has led to a rash of cheating scandals, not by students, but by administrators and teachers.

  • In Atlanta, Georgia, former Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall and 34 other educators were indicted and accused of cheating, conspiring to cheat, or concealing cheating on the 2009 CRCT Georgia state assessment test.
  • In Washington D.C., 11 schools out of 243 were flagged for “serious test security violations” including wrong-to-right erasures as determined by forensic analysis.
  • In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, four administrators and teachers have reached settlements in a statewide cheating investigation with 53 district schools still under scrutiny for possible cheating.

And these are only examples of people who got caught!  With people’s jobs and bonuses on the line, the incentive to cheat in order to show student improvement is high and is a difficult challenge to address.  However, online testing helps take away some of the opportunities for cheating, and delivering online testing in a virtualized desktop environment makes it almost impossible to skew results.

As mentioned in a previous blog post, VMware has worked closely with online testing industry leader Pearson, to ensure that the Pearson TestNav online test delivery system works well within a VMware Horizon View™ virtualized desktop environment.  To achieve TestNav Qualified™ by Pearson certification, Horizon View was shown to deliver the below security measures to preserve the integrity of online testing results:

  • Security from “login” to “submit”
  • No access to other applications or content
  • No screen captures, printing, or saving of the display screen
  • All data is encrypted between client and server for the entirety of the usage period

Leveraging the online testing solution from VMware Horizon View and Pearson TestNav delivers end-to-end security and minimizes chances of cheating from students and educators alike.  Just remember that when it comes to online testing, “Very Mad Whales Are Rescuing Everyone” – (VMWARE).

To learn more about how VMware Horizon View can help deliver online tests more securely along with other benefits such as ease of management and high availability, click here.


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