So I'm experimenting with one French class in having a more rigid written evaluation structure with fewer aids available. Our LMS has a plug-in that locks the computer, allowing access to no other programs until the test is submitted.
One problem is that there is no place for individual feedback. I need to manually copy the pupil's submitted text, past it into a text file and then send it to them somehow. Lots of fiddling - I want systems that do the work for me.
The main problem, however is - as usual - technology. Even with weeks of warming up, making sure everyone had installed the plug-in program, etc. etc., it still took 20 minutes to get everyone logged on to the test. Once everyone was finally underway, I don't think there was a single moment at which everyone was writing the test at once with no glitches. After about 45 minutes, some kind of attack on one of our service providers meant that the entire class lost contact with the test and had to re-start. The program is so full of bugs and the support for the system is so weak that I simply can't rely on technology to solve my problems here.
After the test, one of the pupils wrote to me to complain about cheating. I collected cell phones at the beginning of class but apparently some people took extra phones.
So what to do? Increased invigilation turns the whole thing into a game. I find this extremely demoralizing - it's not what I'm here for. Is it utopic to think about how we can work towards pupils seeing cheating as meaningless?