Bring-your-own-device electronic examinations (BYOD e-exams) are a relatively new type of assessment where students sit an in-person exam under invigilated conditions with their own laptop. Special software restricts student access to prohibited computer functions and files, and provides access to any resources or software the examiner approves. In this study, the decades-old computer security principle that ‘software security depends on hardware security’ is applied to a range of BYOD e-exam tools. Five potential hacks are examined, four of which are confirmed to work against at least one BYOD e-exam tool. The consequences of these hacks are significant, ranging from removal of the exam paper from the venue through to receiving live assistance from an outside expert. Potential mitigation strategies are proposed; however, these are unlikely to completely protect the integrity of BYOD e-exams. Educational institutions are urged to balance the additional affordances of BYOD e-exams for examiners against the potential affordances for cheaters.
Field of Research
130103 Higher Education 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
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