“Learning should also be fun,” said Prof. Jan Rainier Balaria. This was what the College of Nursing proved after implementing its version of creative “anti-cheating hats” as an approach to combat academic dishonesty during Canvas exams. Previously, this initiative was implemented by Bicol University. Results showed that the strategy did not only lessen dishonesty but also infused fun and artistry into the class.

The COVID-19 Pandemic altered human day-to-day activities. Everyone was caught in surprise when suddenly physical interaction became very limited due to the fear of spreading or catching the disease. Education was no exception to this. Classes became virtual and learning management systems (LMS) became a necessity. Wesleyan University-Philippines subscribed to Canvas as its LMS. On Canvas, teachers may conduct online classes, post or upload learning activities, and conduct online assessments.

After the COVID-19 restrictions were eased, the Commission on Higher Education gradually allowed the conduct of in-person classes in combination with online and self-directed learning. This characterized the new normal to education, the hybrid approach or the combination of the traditional classroom, online, and self-phased learning.

Canvas exams, an online platform that teachers have used since the pandemic started, compelled educators to think of a unique way to promote learning and academic honesty at the same time. However, since the teachers could not physically supervise the assessments, the integrity of the results was sometimes doubted or questioned. That was when the College of Nursing thought of incorporating “anti-cheating hats” into their supervised examinations. This step aimed to encourage students to take a proactive stance in preserving the fairness of their exams. It also ignited the students’ creativity and individual expression. To date, the student-designed hats transformed the typically mundane exam hall into a gallery of individually crafted upcycled materials that remind everyone of integrity.

This strategy not only maintained the integrity of the examinations but also enhanced the overall educational experience of the students. It also encouraged students to view anti-cheating measures not as limitations, but as opportunities to showcase their creativity and initiative.