I have a meeting on Tuesday that will keep me off campus for two of my four classes, and in the first three of those four classes I’m testing. I didn’t necessarily want to inconvenience anyone by asking them to proctor (though they would have happily had I asked) but with the break coming up I didn’t want to reschedule the tests. So I figured it was high time to let the students test on their own.

The test is on ItsLearning and is all open response anyway, so why not? Well, here a few reasons why not, and then I’ll discuss my thinking on them.

  1. Cheating.
  2. Cheating.
  3. Cheating.

I get it. Of course I get it. But I suspect (or at least I’m hoping) that the ones that would cheat, would cheat as readily in the classroom. And I like to think that I’m vigilant and savvy but, let’s be honest, if they wanted to, especially on the computer, I’m betting they could pull it off (in or out of the classroom). A more positive take on the issue is that, at least at Wayland, it seems that the more you trust students, the more willing they are to honor that trust. That’s not to say of course that they are completely trustworthy at all times but, in general, I have few incidents that involve serious violations of trust.

An interesting variable is that my English 4 class is taking the test tomorrow and Tuesday, depending on the section. The tomorrow class was (appropriately) griping that the Tuesday class could take the test wherever they want. So I made the decision, without much hesitation, that tomorrow’s class could also take the test out of the classroom, even though I would be there. They have the option of coming to class first block to take the test, or taking it elsewhere / at home. I know one student has two frees after my class, so she will wake up, take the test (in her pajamas, according to her), and go right back to bed.

The Tuesday class, with whom I discussed this first, agreed that the test should be taken during the class time. They confidently and consistently suggested that, if the test were scheduled out of class time (I had suggested that evening) that they would either forget or neglect. The tomorrow class didn’t love the test during class time but didn’t protest too vociferously.

So there it is. We’ll see how it goes. I did include an honor code statement on page one of the test (they download the test as a Word .doc, complete it, and upload that same document to ItsLearning), and I reproduce that below.

Any suggestions or comments are welcome (especially as regards experience with this with high schoolers?).

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