Thanks for your help.
The whole question of cheating (and it's prevention) is a recurrent theme. There was an interesting article "Who's cheating whom" that Tim Hunt gave us recently which puts attention on the whole culture of teaching used.
My PERSONAL policy as a teacher of 15 years is this:
1. I will not play Sherlock Holmes
2. You can cheat, but then you're not learning. If you're not here to learn, then why are you here?
3. If you cheat, it's not going to help you on the job, so what's the point?
4. I am more interested in the students here to learn than the students here to cheat. If I catch you, you're toast, but I'm not going through histrionics to catch you.
5. If it's TRULY important, the project will not be conducive to cheating. Example: when I taught Health rather than "write a report on _____" the project might be "Complete a case study on ______, creating a fictional patient, case history, treatment plan, and outcome". The kids (tenth graders) loved it, it was personal, there was no way to truly "cheat" on it. (Just an example, and not one I used more than once.)
One of the big scary things lately has been iPods. "What if they put the answers on their iPods?" I'm an IT teacher (now) and my answer is, "If a student actually takes the time to determine the questions, record them, find the answers, record it onto an MP3, upload it to his iPod, play it during a test at the EXACT moment he comes across that question on the test...he deserves an A, a standing ovation, and a medal of honor because honestly...most kids who cheat are cheating because they are too lazy to go through the motions of learning the material."
Often it's a question of ignorance of how things work. Sure kids can text answers to each other (don't allow phones during tests, take them if you see them, don't make a big issue). Sure they COULD potentially record questions on an iPod (so completely unlikely, although I do provide question/answer MP3 files for students prepping for certifications), sure they could use semiphore, sure they could write it on their hand, their head, inside their shirt...they could do a million things. I personally do not have the time, nor the inclination to try and thwart everything they "could" do.
Instead, ultimately the question is "Can you do what you're supposed to be able to do at the end of my course?" If they can, they pass. If they can't, even if they've "aced" every "written" test, they don't pass. Period. (I have a two week long benchmark final with a project that is required to pass the class. The tests are evaluation tools, not the be all end all of the course. If they don't pass the benchmarks, and I'm the one who looks at them all, the don't pass the class.)
My colleagues and I do realize that there is no 100% secure way to absolutely prevent a student from printing a quiz if said student is competent in ways to "get around" the system.
The majority of my colleagues would feel at least some sense of reassurance and security if they had something to disable the print function in a test, though.
If any other tools or methods to prevent printing, do develop, we will certainly be on the lookout for them.
Thanks again for your feedback and assistance.
Tests- use Lime Survey - again free and you can block printing.
Best of Luck to All!
Whatever anybody tries to tell you - or sell you - if it is sent over the web then you can record/print/capture it. Usually trivially. If you think otherwise you are rather foolish (this isn't directed at Olli btw). If somebody thought something I wrote or developed was interesting enough to rip off I think I would be quite pleased
The way I handle Moodle exams is to declare them "open book." After all is said and done, the students are not going to spend the rest of their working lives in sealed rooms with locked down browsers.
would you be able to tell me exactly in which file i would be able to embed the JS code to disable the printing??
Have you tried switching on the 'Show exam in a "secure" window' option in your Quiz settings. It's not perfect, but does make it a bit more difficult for the naughty students.
But if you have a real quiz there is no need in doing that. Let's take a simple quiz of 10 questions about some topic. If you have only 10 quesitons, the students will memorize them (answers, not rules) even without printing. However, if you have 10-15 variants of each question (yeah, that means 100-150 questions in just one test ) trying to print (or photo) a quiz is basically pointless (10 random questions - the are 15^10 quiz variants available). The only really effective way to cheat such test is to have a text document with all questions and answers so you can search. But trying to do this using printed copy or photo (or find you question using many-many prints) ... well it's probably much easier to learn something at last . And this is just one quiz (in any university course there will be many). So disabling a text copying (which is done in Moodle in a "safe" window quiz) is quite sufficient to my opinion.
I recently had a publishing rep ask me a similar question:
"If I give my lecturer a few chapters of a book for him to put on Moodle, is there a way to make sure that it does not allow for printing? I have to give some students access to the book for a bit until the book is available in SA, but I need to make sure that they do not print, download or save the material. Is there a way to build up that security?"
I have learnt is this. ANYTHING that goes online is up for copying. For
example, MyMarketingLab, even though there are measures in place there is a
means for a student to copy every video, quiz, and ebook content. It's scary
i.e. There may be some utilities to disable the print functionality in the browser, you cannot stop someone from doing a screen capture. Camtasia for video capturing and so on. Adobe has tried blocking copy paste, printing, etc but like I said, there are ways around it.
All that you can control is the course enrolment to the Moodle course, thus the only people having access to the chapter/s would be the class students.
This dilemma is not new. If it was a textbook, students would be photocopying it.
HOWEVER, My best solution is using Private/Public Keys, put the document as a PDF file which has restrictions (no copy/print/sharing)
The link below shows you how.