Academic dishonesty?

This article was published in our December 2014 Newsletter, by Tom Gottschalk, COO

Our sales team is often approached with inquiries about how our websites prevent cheating. I am sorry, let me rephrase that question. How do we deal with academic dishonesty, cognitive knowledge testing trickery, or someone who takes an educational opportunity shortcut? For this article I will call it cheating to keep it simple and focus on the online cognitive testing environment.

Whatever you choose to call it, the short answer is that we make cheating inconvenient and allow our teachers to manage the topic in a rather unique way. First and foremost, we offer the popular security features that permit teachers to discourage students from doing the wrong thing. For example, instructors can limit time, restricting backwards navigation and prevent them from sharing answers afterward. However, we also allow the savvy instructor, who just does not feel right about a testing outcome, to actually see the test taking experience precisely. We are able to show the time that each student picks an answer in which you can use to cross reference any other students that were taking the same test nearby.

Are you interested in viewing this information on your tests?

From the Class Test Results page click the “Export Answer to Excel” button on the right side in the middle of the report. On the spreadsheet we publish all of the raw details you may be seeking to validate your suspicion of a student who may not demonstrate the high level of integrity necessary to treat our family members in their most vulnerable time.

As I wind down my article, I suggest you not be tricked or mislead by the access to this data. There is consensus among our EMS educator team that relying on a cognitive exam to address an “Affective Domain Defect” is a pretty weak strategy alone. We also recognize that there is no way to stop all cheating. That does not mean we will not continue working cooperatively with our colleagues who try and catch those who cheat, lie, or cut corners before they graduate. Let face it, the research, personal experiences, and media show us vivid examples of people of all kinds “by-passing” the right way of doing things. And this author feels it is our duty as professional educators to “coach and strongly persuade” those out of EMS work by all reasonable means necessary.

Agree or disagree with my opinion that we are the last gatekeepers of the public’s safety when it comes to professional conduct? Let me know by emailing me at I would love to know what you think. Thank you!