Online instruction provides many challenges and opportunities. One of the former is the prevalence of cheating by students, especially if teachers aren't diligent. It may be easy to cheat online, but it is also easy to get caught.
The Online Schools Center recently posted a nice compendium of information called "How Students Cheat Online." The graphic display is very accessible, but please scroll all the way down for amplification of the basic points.
One interesting suggestion involves the use of Webcam proctors. Students show identification and are watched by the proctors, who can see from a remote location if the students are looking off camera at notes or books.
One comment noted on the site, regarding the Big Brother thing (which you have to admit sort of jumps right up when you first hear about it), compared a Webcam proctor to an instructor watching carefully from the front of a classroom as students sit for written exams. When considered benignly this way, It may resemble more the all-seeing eye billboard from The Great Gatsby, than Orwell.
But can an online proctor give the Stink Eye to ward off dishonest behavior, as a face-to-face teacher can? One would hate to lose the Stink Eye as a pedagogical tool. Is nothing sacred? "No more teacher's dirty looks" could represent a paradigm shift we want to consider with caution.
Please look the article over, including some interesting rankings on the right. Sources for the posted information are found at the bottom.