Yesterday, I attended a convention on fraud in higher education (digitally, of course, thanks to COVID-19), and it was a fascinating experience. Two of the four speakers approach fraud from a legal perspective, discussing jurisprudence, recent developments and, of course, fraud in online digital assessment. They were very well-versed in the topics, and fielded a lot of questions with skill and ease. It’s always a joy to see somebody who knows what they’re talking about do their job well.
On top of that, we got so much information on multiple types of challenges that we’re facing at work. Particularly the past year of online assessment has proven to complicate matters quite rapidly. Digital assessment was never applied this widely, let alone digital assessment at a distance. As a result, we quite suddenly faced a host of new challenges, such as faulty internet connections invalidating an assessment (what do you do about that? What measures can you take?) or strong suspicions of fraud without evidence (Is that sound in the background somebody else reading a book, or the student checking a textbook during an assessment?).
I do think that the digital format allowed me to get out of my shell a little easier than normal. In the conventions I’ve been to so far, you’d of course have to speak up in a room of strangers to ask a question, whereas here it was just as simple as typing a comment in a chatbox. I could have even adopted some semi-anonymity, as I could fill in my own username to ask questions (though I just used my own name in any case). Certainly an encouraging experience that should remind me to participate more actively in future face-to-face conventions.
2 thoughts on “Fraud Convention”
I’m a big fan of informal peer meetups. Peer coaching is so refreshing — someone who doesn’t know your particular situation but who knows the ‘general space’ can suggest so many things that can help you.
It was quite educational all right. It was good to touch base in general as well. It allowed us to see what problems others had that we’d already solved, what solutions others had for things we were still struggling with, and just in general helped us align with what others were doing nationally.
What was particularly interesting for us to see is how flexible we were compared to other examination committees. It seemed that more often than most, we would think about individualized deviations from the regulations if it would reasonable help students, whereas others were far more hardline in restricting that type of choice. What made that realization all the more interesting is that overall within our institution, we’re one of the more hardline committees. Such an eye-opener to benchmark ourselves like this!