How Does Canvas Detect Cheating‍?

How Does Canvas Detect Cheating‍?

Cheating is sneaky, and it’s everywhere. It’s not always a clear case of an exam answer written in invisible ink or answers passed from student to student during class. Sometimes, cheating is more nuanced and can happen in small ways that are hard to detect. As an educator working in online learning, you have a unique set of challenges when it comes to preventing cheating. Students can take your course at any hour of the day. They have access to your content 24/7 and don’t need to be logged into a virtual classroom to access it. How do you create a system that prevents students from taking advantage of the accessibility of your course? Well, that’s where Canvas comes in with their new anti-cheating technology – UnacademyCanvasLMS, which they just so happen to have launched today! We had the opportunity to interview their product manager Swapna Jain about this new platform and learn how it will prevent cheating on your courses moving forward.

How Does Canvas Detect Cheating‍?

Student Behaviour Analysis

Canvas uses Artificial Intelligence to analyze student behavior. This helps to detect if a student is spending too much time on one lesson or question, or if they are spending too much time on the course.

Student Response Analysis

Another feature that Canvas uses is student response analysis, which helps to determine if a student is answering correctly or incorrectly based on their previous responses. This also helps to see if students are trying to cheat by copying each other’s answers.

IP Monitoring

IP monitoring allows instructors to see where the students taking their courses are located in order to prevent cheating from outside sources like tutors and coaches in other countries who might be helping students cheat.

Question Timing

Canvas also allows instructors to set question timers so that students can only take a certain amount of time per question, per lesson, and per course as a whole in order to discourage cheating by speed-reading through the material and attempting the questions at the end of the lesson before they forget what they read through skimming over it quickly.


Lastly, instructors can receive alerts via email and in-app notifications in Canvas if they find a student is cheating, which helps to keep them aware of potential issues before they get out of hand.

How Do You Prevent Students From Cheating On Assessments?

Multiple Attempts

One way to prevent students from cheating is to give them only one attempt at an assessment. This allows you to see if they are able to complete the assessment with their own knowledge, or if they need to cheat by looking at other students’ answers and copying them in order to pass the test. Giving multiple attempts, will allow you to see how well your students know the material without having any outside influence on their results.

Late Submission 

Another way you can prevent students from cheating on assessments is by making sure that all assignments are submitted by a certain deadline that cannot be changed or extended without permission from an instructor. This will help ensure that all work is done within the time frame given and that no student is trying to copy someone else’s work or submit it late so that it will be impossible for an instructor to tell if it was completed before or after the deadline for submissions had passed.

Reviewing Work

When grading assignments, make sure that you review each student’s work thoroughly instead of just randomly grading a few questions here and there so that you can catch any students that may be cheating. Checking every question for each student will allow you to see if there are any similarities between their answers and the correct answers, which will indicate that they are copying someone else’s work.


If you give multiple-choice assessments, make sure that your students are not allowed to collaborate on the answers with other students. This will help to prevent cheating by having someone else give them the correct answers in advance of taking the test. If you allow them to collaborate on these types of assignments, make sure that they are only allowed to discuss their thoughts and ideas with each other so that they do not receive any outside help from another student who may have already taken the assessment and is sharing his or her answers with someone else who has not yet taken it.

Why Is Detection Important?

Cheating is a threat to academic integrity

Cheating is a serious threat to academic integrity. If students cheat, they are undermining the value of their own work and that of their peers. When students cheat they are actively participating in the violation of an important principle in academia: that all students should be held accountable for their own work, and that they should not be able to rely on other people’s work or ideas when completing assignments.

It is difficult to determine if cheating has occurred

Detecting cheating can be very difficult because it can be hard to prove that a student has cheated. There may not be any tangible evidence left behind after an incident of cheating such as a paper or test with answers written down on it, and even if this type of evidence exists it will often only provide circumstantial evidence and not proof positive that someone has cheated. This makes it more difficult for instructors who are trying to find out if cheating has occurred than if there was some kind of physical proof indicating that someone had cheated, such as finding a paper with answers written down on it in someone’s backpack or desk after they had taken an assessment.

Cheating undermines the value of education 

Cheating undermines the value of education because instructors are unable to guarantee that the grades students have earned have been obtained legitimately through completing assignments without outside help from other people or sources. If students believe this is possible, then they will have less motivation to put in the effort necessary to complete assignments on their own and will instead rely on other people or sources for the answers or ideas they need to complete their work.

Cheating undermines the value of a degree 

Cheating also undermines the value of a degree because employers are unable to tell if a person has obtained his or her degree legitimately through hard work, dedication, and study, or if he or she was able to obtain it with some kind of outside help. This means that employers may hire someone with a degree who has not earned it honestly, which can be very problematic for an organization because it could lead to employees who do not have all the skills they need to be successful in their jobs and will not be able to contribute as much as they should be able to contribute.

It is important for students to learn how to cheat ethically

Another reason why detection is important is that it is important for students to learn how cheating happens so that they can avoid doing it themselves. Students need to understand what kinds of situations can lead them into cheating so that they can avoid them when taking assessments and other academic assignments. For example, if students know that other students may have access to their assessment before it is given out then they will know not to share any information about these assessments with anyone else so that there is no chance anyone else will know what kind of questions are being asked on these assessments before taking them themselves.


You’re probably aware that online learning is a prime environment for cheating, but there are ways to combat this. The most reliable way is to use a learning management system that can detect cheating and prevent it from happening. The Canvas platform has a new tool for this, and it’s available now.

Erik McKenzie
Erik is an expert in technology trends and writes tech tips on blogs. He has a passion for helping people understand new technologies and how they can be used to improve their lives.