November 30, 2021

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Deliver academic integrity with these new features

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By Terri Czerwinski, Principal Product Manager, Coursera for Campus

For leaders in higher education, academic integrity has long been a top priority. But as more universities begin to take their programs online and start to accelerate automation, academic misconduct is becoming an increasingly common challenge. 

According to the International Center of Academic Integrity, more than 60% of university students admit to cheating in some form. ProctorU, an online proctoring service, administered 1.3 million exams through their platform from April through June in 2020—a four-time increase compared to the three months before that. In those 1.3 million exams, they saw an eight-time increase in the cheating rate. To uphold confidence in the validity and efficacy of remote instruction, online learning platforms are faced with an urgent need to provide a robust suite of academic integrity features.  

In response to this need, Coursera has developed a suite of academic integrity features that  will help institutions deliver a high level of academic integrity by 1) deterring and detecting cheating and 2) accurately assessing student mastery of the material they’re learning with private assessments.

Stop cheating before it happens and detect it when it does

Plagiarism deterrence features are designed to discourage academic misconduct before it happens by alerting students when their work will be flagged for plagiarism, preventing students from copying each other’s work and reminding them of their responsibility to uphold integrity in their work. Inevitably, some students may submit a plagiarized assignment. That’s where plagiarism detection comes in—helping you uncover and track instances of academic dishonesty while giving you the information you need to maintain high standards of academic integrity within your program. Here is a list of our plagiarism deterrence and detection features.

Available in both Institution and Basic plans: 

  • Disabling of URL sharing: Disabling URL sharing means that your students won’t be able to send their submission link directly to a friend to grade the submission, making the peer review fairer and more objective.
  • Disabling copy of peer reviews: This feature restricts your students from being able to copy the submissions of others to use for their own submission while they are reviewing their peers.
  • Anonymization of peer reviews: This feature anonymizes the names of both the submitter and reviewer for peer review assessments. This is helpful when you’re concerned about the objectivity of reviewers who may know the learner who submitted the peer review assessment. 
  • Online gradebook (coming in August 2021): When available, our  online gradebook report will show information on learners who are currently or previously enrolled in a specific course. This will allow you to monitor the progress of the learners and keep track of plagiarism incidents. 

Available in the Institution plan only:

  • Turnitin similarity score*: Through our integration with Turnitin, your students will know if their assignment is similar to other sources online or existing submissions within your institution before they submit work, providing them a chance to amend their assignments. If your students submit an assignment that meets or exceeds the similarity score threshold, the assignment will be flagged for plagiarism.  
  • Plagiarism policy reminder: With our plagiarism policy reminder, you’ll be sure that your learners are always aware of Coursera’s honor code. Additionally, this feature will require learners to provide their signature acknowledging Coursera’s policies and remind them of the high academic standards they need to uphold.  

*Note: The Turnitin integration is available on request as a standard part of the Coursera for Campus Institution offering. Contact your customer success manager to learn more.

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Disabling of URL sharing feature as described above

Measure student learning outcomes with robust private assessment functionality 

A key requirement of institutions to maintain academic integrity involves rigorous assessments that effectively test students’ mastery of the course material.  In addition to assessments already built into the courses, you can build your own private assessments on Coursera using the same world-class, private-authoring platform leveraged by our 200+ university and industry partners. 

Available in the Institution plan only: 

  • Staff-graded assessments: Staff-graded assessments are graded by your course instructors and/or teaching staff. You can create  these assessments manually or you can create them leveraging our assessment import functionality, which allows you to seamlessly import your Google Doc and Microsoft Word documents into Coursera to easily create assessments. There are two types of staff-graded assessments:
  • Individual assessments: A learner works independently to complete and submit the assessment. Then, your course staff reviews and grades each learner’s submission. Individual assessments can have both staff-graded questions and auto-graded questions, and can even be completely auto-graded.
  • Team assessments: Learners in a team work together to complete and submit the assessment. Your instructors and/or teaching staff review and grade each team’s submission. Note that team assessments cannot include auto-graded questions. 
  • Auto-graded assessments: Auto-graded assessment questions can be added to quizzes and individual staff-graded assessments. Similar to staff-graded assessments, you can create these assessments manually, or you can create them leveraging our assessment import functionality.
  •  Timed exams: Any staff graded assessments that you build can be timed. You can schedule the assessment to start on a specific date and time and can set a duration for the exam to limit the amount of time the learner can spend on it. These settings are comparable to the on-campus exam experience. 
  • ID verification: Coursera supports increased security for high-stakes private exams using third-party identity verification tools in order to ensure that the user taking the exam is actually the expected learner. (Only available for private assessments authored by your institution.)
  • Online proctoring: With online proctoring, institutions can monitor online exams to ensure that students are demonstrating their own knowledge. Our authoring platform supports using third party tools to proctor online high-priority, privately-authored exams. These exams can also be timed and scheduled for a specific date, so that the exam experience is comparable to taking the exam on campus. (Only available for private assessments authored by your institution)
  • Question banks: The question bank functionality allows you to build assessments from a catalog of relevant questions. You can populate your own question bank with questions developed in-house. Coursera’s unique approach to question banks will allow you to tag questions with a difficulty level and learning objective, giving you more control when it comes to question selection. These questions can then be auto-graded or graded by staff. 
  • Rich grading features:  Our comprehensive grading features will allow you to assess student mastery in a manner that fits your own institution. Whether that be deadlines and late penalties for assessments that correspond to your institutions’ timeframes or  grading formulas to assign different weights to assessments, these grading features will help you administer and grade your private assessments on your own terms. 
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Question banks feature as described above

Coursera’s academic integrity features can help you deliver an online learning experience that upholds your academic standards. If you’d like to learn more, reach out to us at [email protected] or contact your customer success manager.  


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