Securing Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Programming Exams

by   Oka Kurniawan, et al.

Traditional pen and paper exams are inadequate for modern university programming courses as they are misaligned with pedagogies and learning objectives that target practical coding ability. Unfortunately, many institutions lack the resources or space to be able to run assessments in dedicated computer labs. This has motivated the development of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) exam formats, allowing students to program in a similar environment to how they learnt, but presenting instructors with significant additional challenges in preventing plagiarism and cheating. In this paper, we describe a BYOD exam solution based on lockdown browsers, software which temporarily turns students' laptops into secure workstations with limited system or internet access. We combine the use of this technology with a learning management system and cloud-based programming tool to facilitate conceptual and practical programming questions that can be tackled in an interactive but controlled environment. We reflect on our experience of implementing this solution for a major undergraduate programming course, highlighting our principal lesson that policies and support mechanisms are as important to consider as the technology itself.


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