We recently held online midterm exams at my institution, where I am a manager. (We were forced online just before the exams.) The exams included a range of subjects, and were typically less than 2 hours.
There are indications of cheating (e.g. exam scores much higher than offline performance, answers that seem to be copied from each other, etc.). So I am planning to send the following message to the students:
During the next few days, some students will be informed by subject teachers that there is indication of academic dishonesty in their midterm exam. The student will have the option of responding to the teacher's message to schedule a confidential teacher-student video interview of approximately 15 minutes, in which the teacher will determine whether the student's exam score is reliable. If the student schedules and passes the interview, then their midterm exam score will be accepted. Otherwise, their midterm exam score will not be counted in their semester grade, and their final exam grade will count as both their midterm exam and final exam grade. If the student would like to know details about the indication of academic dishonesty, these can be discussed after the interview.
During the video interview, the students will be given oral questions about the topics covered on the midterm exam, to assess whether their exam score is reliable.
Question: Is this fair?
As far as school policy: Before the midterm exams, the students were given a set of rules and consequences about the midterm exams: camera and microphone activated, hands visible, etc. But these rules cannot completely prevent cheating. (A student's hand could be briefly off-camera, and it would be unreasonably harsh to give them an automatic zero for that.)
My motivation for doing this, is to protect (as much as possible) the honest students from being disadvantaged by their honesty.
I decided not to do the follow-up interviews, because they are not in the school policies. (If they were in the school policies, then they would have been fair, to the extent that standard anti-cheating policies are fair.)