Online Testing: Ensure Comprehension & Mitigate Cheating with “Show Work”

In online testing, asking students to support their answers can give insight into their thought processes. Not only can you provide partial credit should you choose based on their supportive comments, but it might also help ensure that students are completing assessments without outside help. 

In a math course, ask students to input the steps of their solution. If you choose to review student work, you might identify common mistakes or conceptual misunderstanding. 

 “I think this would be a great way to see if my students truly understand a concept. If they are able to type out how they arrived at an answer, explain their process to me, and it makes sense, then I know they understand the concept. However, if they can not do so, it can either help me see where they become confused, or, it indicates that they may be cheating with PhotoMath or another way.”

– Instructor at Methodist University

In a humanities course, asking students to explain their thought process or provide additional explanation to support their answers can help ensure comprehension of key concepts. You might even ask students to provide an alternate example or explain why an answer is correct for bonus credit. 

There are many opportunities to ask for deeper level learning and explanation from your students using the “Show Work” feature of Hawkes’ online tests.

On the Instructor Side: In WebTest’s Assignment Builder there is a button for each question to Enable Show Work.

On the Student Side: A Show Work textbox appears for any question that has the feature enabled.

Answers are evaluated completely independently of Show Work.

  • Students receive full credit for correct answers and no credit for incorrect answers regardless of whether they entered anything into the Show Work box. 
  • However, student work does appear when reviewing WebTest attempts, so you can award or remove credit based on the additional details the student provides. 

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