Are students able to modify what appears on their page?

If you have noticed a discrepancy between what is appearing on a student's page compared to what you are seeing on your end, or you have noticed some alarming or unusual material on our platform - there may be a chance that the web-page has been tampered with by a student. 

In this guide, we will explain how this is possible and help to look for the signs that a student has interfered with the website.

How is this possible?

Inspect, Inspect Element or Web Inspector is an intrinsic feature present in all major internet browsers which gives anybody the ability to temporarily change what appears on a web-page. The purpose of this function is primarily for developers to check and test their web-page by editing the HTML and CSS code directly from their browser.

Text and other elements on the page are able to be locally modified with only a few right-clicks. The Inspect function can be accessed by right-clicking anywhere on a web-page and selecting Inspect (Chrome) or Inspect Element (Firefox or Edge) or Web Inspector (Safari). From there, any area on the page can be easily edited.

Options when right clicking on a browser page

What can be changed?

Virtually anything on a web-page can be temporarily changed using the Inspect Element tool, including text and images. We have had cases of students using this to change the progress displayed for their homework task or points earned to make it look like they have completed their work when they haven't. There have also been cases of students replacing text in questions with inappropriate or offensive words.

Although the changes made are temporary, we have had reports of students sending screenshots of doctored information to their teacher.

What can I do if I suspect that a student has been doing this?

Any changes made will be lost when the page is refreshed. 

We recommend asking the student to refresh the page in front of you to see whether those changes are retained. For extra reassurance, you can also ask the student to try opening the same page in an incognito window, in case they have taken further steps to retain those changes on their device.

You are welcome to send full-screen screenshots of the affected area to our Support team and we can investigate further. There have been past cases where students have left typos or other discrepancies on the page they have edited, which our team will easily be able to identify.

Can this feature be disabled?

Unfortunately, the 'Inspect' tool is an intrinsic part of browser functionality and is beyond our control. If students are using a school device, these settings can be blocked on the browser by an administrator in some cases.

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