Integrity Clause

Last October 3rd, the online Quiz 1 for my EDS 113 class was made available online. I was apprehensive because I was only barely able to finish reading the second module before the Quiz was put up online. I have been having internet connection problems lately, on top of all the things I usually have to do for school, so it has been quite a stressful week.

Usually, these online tests have time limits and we are only allowed a single attempt. Like all online quizzes I have taken thus far, Quiz 1 also had what I call an “integrity clause” at the start. The clause basically reads something like “I promise not to cheat in this quiz” which we had to agree to before we get redirected to the test questions. However, Quiz 1 caught me by surprise. Not only was there no time limit in taking the test, we were also allowed unlimited attempts. The highest score we can get out of the attempts will be our final quiz grade.

I have to admit, my initial score was a measly 7 out of the 15 items asked. I reviewed my notes again and attempted another try. I scored higher, scoring an additional 2 points. It was after my second attempt that I noticed the “REVIEW” link in my scoreboard. I clicked it open and saw the items I got wrong. I barely looked at the multiple choice part, I could just try to click each choice in my next attempt and see which one I’d get correct. I focused instead on the second part. There, we had to indicate where a given sample assessment fell under Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive domain. I took note of items I got wrong then went back to my notes. I attempted the quiz a third time and got 12 out of 15. I clicked review again and that was when I noticed that the answers were actually indicated on the bottom of the page! I had not scrolled down during my first two attempts that I had not seen it.

I thought to myself, “Was it a trick? Were we actually expected to really get a perfect score?” But then, there was that clause at the start of the quiz, right? I checked the Learning Tools page. Usually, check marks automatically appear on the tick boxes after each activity we finish. The quiz had no check mark, on account that we had unlimited attempts, so I assumed I had to be the one to tick the box.

Was it a test? Like some sort of test within a test? Believe it or not, I thought I sounded like Steve Rogers (for those of you who saw Captain America). I thought about the integrity clause. Sure, we all had to agree to it so we could take the quiz – I mean, that would be the default answer. Still, having been able to see the correct answers and then attempting to take the quiz again was something that went against what was stipulated in the agreement, right?

So I went ahead and checked that box, despite no perfect score (though I had to ask my prof if it was ok for me to manually check it afterwards).

Perhaps the test was more about whether we would actually abide by the clause we agreed to. Of course, honesty is the best policy. I took something else out of that quiz. Through it, my professor taught me that we can still impart lessons to students even while we are doing assessments. More than quantity, quality is always better.


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