A new tool helps universities track cheating patterns in online programs

In the past decade, the number of students taking online college courses has increased dramatically. To help colleges measure their rate of online test-taking violations, Examity, an online proctoring and identity verification company, launched examiDATA, a platform designed to aggregate and analyze information on test performance and academic integrity. 

The platform draws information from hundreds of thousands of university students across the U.S. to discern test-taking patterns, measure the rate of test-taking violations and help institutions benchmark against their peers. examiDATA breaks out cheating information by key categories including tuition level, type of school, and department of study. 

"The explosion of online education has allowed us to make huge strides in supporting a growing population of nontraditional students," said Dr. Lauren Cifuentes, Director of Distance Education and Learning Technologies at Texas A&M. "However, data-driven approaches that shed light on macro trends in online test security remain nascent. The insights surfaced by examiDATA will play a critical role in validating the work of our team and students relative to other institutions."

In an initial pilot study of 325,000 test-takers in the 2015-2016 school year, examiDATA found that cheating fluctuates from semester to semester. Reaching a 6.65% percentage of students cheating in the summer of 2016.

"From time of year to type of institution, test violations fluctuate in ways that are critical to understand in order to ensure the continued success of online learning – but often remain invisible without the support of predictive analytics," said Michael London, President and CEO of Examity. "Armed with insights into student performance trends, colleges and universities can use examiDATA to address specific pain points and further improve the security of their online assessments."  

Examity works with several public and private institutions, including Boston University, Pennsylvania State University, and Yale, providing real-time, customized proctoring services. 

For more information, visit the Examity site.