Online learning has made the ability to cheat greater than ever because they do not have any proctors or guidance on exams; therefore, all tests should be made open book to make the situation fair across all students. In class, teachers can walk around and monitor student activity during important exams; however, when students perform online exams, that ability is no longer present. Although teachers should be able to trust their students, cheating is nearly inevitable because they have much more freedom than students in the classroom.
School officials should allow standard classroom students to utilize open book resources on exams. This will allow the system to be equal and fair for both online and in-class students. Teachers should put guidelines on this allowance, such as limiting the time available and making the questions harder for all students: online and in-person.
Guided open book exams will teach students to collaborate and learn to access the right resources. Teachers could make more application questions, so students simply do not restate memorized facts that they see in their notes. For science and math classes, students would receive the formulas needed to answer the question and they would have to apply that and show their work. Students, in-class and online, would learn more from this method of testing than how it works currently.
Universities around the country realize this same issue as institutions cannot obliterate cheating for this year with students attending online and in-person, so they have authorized open book tests for their students. Many schools have tried online software systems to monitor activity on exams but none have proven adequate and students are creating an uprising due to testing anxieties.
We should seek to level the playing field for in-person students. School administrators should consider making the change to open book exams to prepare our students for higher levels of schooling and equip them with testing skills that will last.