Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) is an intelligent learning assessment program. While it is effective, questions have emerged as to whether it can detect cheating and how it does that. That is what I see to find out.
ALEKS program helps teachers and parents understand their children’s knowledge and learning progress deeply. ALEKS guides learners on what they ready to learn and help them to master the topic. With this, there is retention and mastery of content.
Can ALEKS Detect Cheating
In any learning institution, they uphold academic integrity. It is for this reason that ALEKS has set up a tool to curb cheating in exams. Academic integrity has become easy by the use of LockDown Browser.
ALEKS can detect cheating by using proctoring and lockdown browsers. The browser prevents students from gaining access to other applications while undertaking an exam.
In addition, ALEKS also has a Respondus Monitor that uses a webcam to record students for instructors to notice any suspicious activity.
The recording is done to prevent students from cheating in any given exam. The Respondus Monitor dashboard helps the teachers check the session recording and identify any form of cheating.
Additionally, the system also detects any suspicious behavior. However, for this feature to work, ensure your students use a webcam and microphone with a Lockdown browser. By so doing, the teacher can check the assessment details that include recorded videos.
The monitor records the whole examination period. It can show if the learner has a phone or is doing the exam with the help of another person. The recording is made possible by the use of facial detection technology.
Can ALEKS See Other Tabs
When proctoring, ALEKS can detect if you opened other tabs while taking the test. The Respondus Lockdown Browser cannot let you open another tab. The browser also prevents you from copy and pasting the information on the computer you are taking exams on.
Furthermore, the instructor can see the number of pages and times the student visits. With Respondus, the instructor can also see the switching of tabs indicating a suspicious attempt at cheating.
The browser automatically sends you back to the original examination tab. You need to know that when a candidate is taking an exam using the browser, only a single tab is open.
ALEKS and Recording You
With proctoring, ALEKS records you due to the Lockdown browser feature that works together with the response monitor. The Respondus monitor, also known as the webcam, records you during the non-proctored exams.
For the recording to be possible, make sure your computer has a functioning webcam and microphone.
With the monitor, you can see a visual rating of the behavior of the students during exams. If the rating displays some form of cheating, you can revisit the student’s recording session.
From the recording session, you can check the time-stamped thumbnail of any questionable behavior of cheating.
Respondus LockDown browser is efficient because it maintains a classroom-like setting. With this setting, the students’ webcam and microphones are fully utilized while recording them.
Consequently, the automated proctor uses face recognition technology to ensure students are taking their exams. It also alerts the instructor in case someone comes into the examination room.
However, The Respondus Lockdown browser and monitor have their limitations. One of these limitations is that it can only make cheating difficult but cannot prevent it.
ALEKS and Tracking Users
One amazing thing about ALEKS is that it helps students have better preparation, increased knowledge retention, and motivation. ALEKS has helped students perform better than those using the traditional methods of teaching. But does it track them?
To monitor cheating, ALEKS tracks you. ALEKS is an equipped program that has mechanism to trac the activities of the user. Before using it, it takes your details such as video of the user and any other features such as face recognition.
However, feel relaxed as no sensitive information is tracked. The tracking is only to safeguared the integrity of the exam. Nothing else. If it can capture any sensitive deals for the user, that becomes an issue with privacy rules.
More importantly, the ALEKS tool helps a parent know what his child is good at and what they are struggling with. With ALEKS, the content is delivered just like in textbooks.
However, what gives ALEKS an upper hand over textbooks is videos and worked-out examples. ALEKS can be a vital learning tool especially, for students who want to get extra practice.
Consequently, ALEKS offers various curricula, ranging from geometry, algebra, physics, and chemistry. Unlike other proctor solutions that detect cheating like Examity, this program offers curricula for various subjects.
Compatibility and using ALEKS on Phone or iPad
Well, the good news is that the program is compatible in a number of devices. Since the program’s inception, there has been an ongoing debate whether ALEKS can be done on the phone or not.
In terms of usage, ALEKS can comfortably do ALEKS on your phone or iPad. The compatibility was first announced on March 5th, 2013, by the ALEKS Corporation. Their courses are now available on iPad and select Android tablets.
The system’s requirements are as follows:
For an iPad, the operating system should be iOS11+ with any screen resolution and browsers of safari 11+. For the phones, you need to get one with an operating system of Android 7+ and a screen resolution of 8.9″ while browsers should be chrome *60+.
They do upgrading to help students access the ALEKS program anywhere as long as there is an internet connection.
ALEKS has features such as the timeline that allows knowing the time one needs to spend on a particular subject. This feature helps the student to work at a desired and manageablespeed.
Advantages of using ALEKS
For one, students can prepare for exams well before starting. Apart from the timeline, there is also the ‘up next’ feature. This one helps students know the next topic to learn. Students can fully prepare before they start on a certain topic.
Another benefit of using ALEKS on iPad and phone is the increased retention. A study has shown that most learners who study on ALEKS have high retention ability.
This retention is attributed to the personalized learning and constant knowledge checks. In case a student forgets the content they have learned, ALEKS helps him remember through reviews.
Students are therefore encouraged to show they know a topic without using any aid unless they need it. With ALEKS, there is a lot of reinforcement on what students have already learned whatsoever.
Once you are done with a concept, it moves you to the next topic. It is, therefore, one way of building the confidence of a learner.
How to Trick ALEKS and Cheat
Everything made by man has its pros and cons. I had earlier said that by use of Respondus Lockdown Browser, students could not cheat. However, students have come up with tricks to help them cheat on ALEKS.
The first and easiest way to trick ALEKS is by use of the Alt+ tab. This trick helps you to switch between windows and navigate through the information you need in your test. Alternatively, you can also turn off your internet for a while.
When you turn the internet on your computer, you will be offline. It means that the browser cannot access the microphone or webcam for some time; hence, no recording is done.
Another of the tricks students use to cheat in online exams is by use of blind zones. All webcams have blind zones. The explanation to this is simple. If you put your book or phone in the blind zone, the chances of cheating are very high.
However, you need to understand that you cannot look out of the screen for a longer time. Therefore, this trick might not be effective. This is because schools use LMS systems like Moodle to prevent cheating and also manage their online learning and testing.
Lastly, you can use the executable desktop file also, known as desktop.exe. This file enables you to create multiple desktops that help you run several applications concurrently. Nevertheless, as you do all these, remember everything comes with its consequences.