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Keeping Virtual Students Honest

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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Most students at virtual schools do the majority of their work at home. Teachers are urged to have frequent communication with students and parents, require students to turn in written work, which is often checked by plagiarism detection software.

Test taking is different, requiring intense scrutiny. Cheating and plagiarism are valid concerns, as is the involvement of parents.

In Prince William County, Virginia, whether it’s a midterm, final exam, or standardized test, online students must go to a brick and mortar school with a valid photo ID to be monitored while taking tests. Parents of the Virtual High School may be given an “auditor” log-in, separate from the students’ for learning management.

ACCESS which served 27,000 students last year in Alabama, requires a trained proctor – a parent, teacher or teacher’s aide to facilitate major tests. The Florida Virtual School requires discussion-based assessment.

Read more about protecting academic integrity in Education Week.