BVI News

Schools effect special measures to prevent cheating in online exams

Dr Natalio Wheatley

With schools across the territory adopting a hybrid approach to learning (online and face-to-face classes) for this academic year, a number of schools have implemented new measures to prevent students from engaging in unethical practices during online examinations.

Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley made that statement in an exclusive interview with BVI News on Wednesday.

Dr Wheatley said there were a variation of measures school principals employed to ensure that there was no academic dishonesty. He outlined a couple of those practices.

“For instance, we had tests that had time-limits and that different students would receive different tests. So it would be difficult to call your friend to get an answer,” Dr Wheatley stated.

“We also had in some instances [in which] students had to do oral presentations where it would be very difficult to be dishonest when having to answer on-the-spot questions on camera. So those are just two examples.”

Loopholes exists in every mechanism

The minister, however, said there were still flaws within the system. He said this meant students could have created a way to cheat once they knew of a way to beat the system.

“Of course, we know persons are very creative sometimes in being dishonest. So nothing is 100 percent foolproof. Even when you are in exams in a classroom, nothing is 100 percent foolproof but we try our best to make it as difficult as possible to be dishonest, and we encourage students and parents to see that the goal is to learn and not necessarily to get a particular grade,” he explained.

All in-person primary school exams

Dr Wheatley also said a decision was made to have students from only one educational stage sit exams in a face-to-face environment. 

“At the primary level, all the students came in to do their exams in person and that would be a true test of whether they were able to learn based on the objects that were set and so I would be looking into those results to see how they performed,” he stated.

The minister said he will be requesting the examination results of all schools to gauge the extent to which students performed during this pandemic period.

Educators applauded

In the meantime, Wheatley commended both the principals and teachers for doing an excellent job during this unprecedented transition caused by COVID-19.

He said: “I am quite impressed with how they were able to deliver on their goals. While, of course, it is not perfect — by no stretch of the imagination that this mode has its disadvantages — I would say beyond a shadow of a doubt that the teachers, the principals and the students exceeded expectations based on the situation that we’re faced with.”


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  1. waste of time says:

    Hon. Wheatley is the lamest education minister we ever had. Al talk and no action. He really is his father’s child.

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    • Why says:

      Why exactly aren’t there regular classes. There has been continued advertisement by the government that the Territory is Covid free. One of the only places on the planet with no Covid. Soooo, please explain why there are no regular classes. Doesn’t really matter anyway. The dummies don’t learn anything either way.

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  2. Wow says:

    There is ABSOLUTELY NO COMPARISON to Hon. Walwyn, our previous Education Minister. We need change NOW!

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  3. Mister Minister says:

    Your CEO should have formulated a student handbook to address academic integrity (and other issues) that can surface for online learning. I would hope this has been done.

    It should be clear that students must submit only their own original thoughts and work on all assignments at all times. Common types of academic dishonesty includes cheating, copying part or all of an assignment from another source and failing to appropriately cite sources used during researched.

    When students fail to have academic integrity they are plagiarizing their work. this means, copying or imitating the language, ideas and thoughts of another writer and passing them off as your own original work.

    Teachers should be able to cite plagiarsm through a variety of methods. All teachers and students should have access to which will provide them with a report of any material that appears to be copied from another source. No form of plagiarism should be tolerated.

    You should have a table explaining the steps taken for each plagiarism offence – 1st, 2nd and 3. 1st – the assignment will receive a grade of 0, 2nd offence – the assignemnt will receive a grade of 0. 3rd offence – the student will face expulsion from the school. Of course there will be other details.

    A clause saying what students can do to avid these issues.
    1. Remember your teachers want to see your own work – simply copying and pasting information is not learning. We want you do do research and then demonstrate your learning in your own words.

    2. Work on your own daily – let your teacher know if you need additional instructions or help.

    3. Demonstrate your own understanding -0 students can look at a comprehension queions and typen that question into the google search engine, copy what they find and then submit it as their own which is cheating.

    4. Sharing work from other students is also plagiarism. Some students are in the same courses as other students they know (such as siblings in the same house)

    5. changing only a few words is still plagiarism.

    If the school system drops the ball, we would get children in the form of the trumpty dumpty when they become adults. Empty heads.

    Thank me later

    Like 6
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    • YES! says:

      This already exists in the schools. Having a system of rules and penalties never has stopped any one from doing the wrong thing. People will still do the wrong thing. We see the efforts being made and we need to hold our children accountable for their actions.

  4. Orrrrr says:

    Open back the schools…..

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  5. sad says:

    We need Myron back in this position. This minister is a big disappointment. All talk and no results.

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  6. Impeccable!!! says:

    Keep up the great work that you are doing. God knows persons think they always need to compare you to who was.

    Thank you for the investments made in Education and though it is not PERFECT, the works are in the correct direction and are well on the way !!!

    Thank you for making scholarships available again.

    Thank you for helping those who were experiencing difficulties because of cv19.

    Thank you for being attentive to the needs of your people.

    Thank you that schools were re-opened again though not fully but its a start and parents had the option of allowing their children be schooled online if they so desired.

    Thank you for bringing back the Christmas Spirit.

    Thank you for being selfless and I wish you and the entire VIP team the very best for the season and an awesome 2021 when it arrives.

    God blessings be upon you as always.

    Like 10
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