Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
This email is being sent to all members of the Baruch College faculty.
For an archive of announcements sent from the Provost’s Office beginning June 2011, see http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/provost/archive.htm
Following are some best practices related to exams. Endorsed by the college’s academic integrity committee, these are advanced as suggestions. Please feel free to seek clarification from Ron Aaron or me.
- Talk about academic integrity issues in your classes (including potential penalties).
- Do not use test banks—students often are able to hack into these (this is a serious issue).
- Announce exam policies and procedures in classes before the exam and reiterate them at the exam. (Follow up with emails or posts to Blackboard.)
- Ask students to use the rest room before (not during) exams.
- Create new exams (i.e., never re-cycle exams) for every administration of an exam, including different exams for different sections
- Create multiple versions of an exam (differences can be limited to the order of questions) so that students sitting next to each other have different versions; seat students apart (when possible).
- Consider using different colored paper for the different versions, allowing you to see if students next to each other have the same exam. (Alternatively, exams of the same color make it impossible for students to know who else has the version they have.)
- If you use blue books, hand out only as many as needed and be sure to collect extras. (Students have been known to take extras home and write in them as preparation for other exams.) Mark your blue books inconspicuously so that a student cannot turn in a blue book he or she brought to the exam.
- Do not allow students to take out their phones or other electronic equipment during exams. Announce this policy (and others) in advance.
- Carefully and consistently proctor your exams, including while some students ask questions or are turning in their exams
- Make use of additional proctors for larger classes. The provost’s office will pay for them but you or your department will have to find them, see: http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/facultyhandbook/ProctoringExams.htm. Make sure all proctors know the rules and procedures.
- Create fair exams that relate well to materials covered in classes.
- Grade exams fairly and turn in grades at the end of the semester by the WebGrade deadline.
- Do not administer final exams on a date other than the scheduled one. Doing so is a serious violation of college rules.
- Report all academic integrity infractions to Ron Aaron (by phone at x4577; the online reporting form is available at www.baruch.cuny.edu/integrityreport).
These are a few of the more important best practices. Others relate to plagiarism: an email on December 10 urged members of our faculty to use Turnitin.com; additional suggestions and links appear at http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/facultyhandbook/PlagiarismTutorial.htm
Additional information about college policies may be found at http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/facultyhandbook/documents/Ac_Integr_Summary_Fall_07.htm (The page was revised much more recently than the URL suggests.)
Thank you for your efforts.
Associate Provost and Assistant Vice President
Baruch College, CUNY
646-660-6504 (phone); 646-660-6531 (fax)