The Internet is an invaluable tool and the answers to almost any question can be found there. Since students are not physically inside a classroom, and are at home with nobody to look over their shoulder, the issue of cheating comes up. Fortunately, professors who teach online classes have developed new ways to prevent cheating, including conducting live online tests that are timed. Some tests even have each question timed, so that the student cannot, "surf the web" in pursuit of the answer. A few universities are now using onsite representatives to be there with the student at the time of the exam, just to be sure that they are following all of the rules and regulations of the course and the school, and to verify the absence of cheating.
More, technology has allowed professors to utilize other ways to keep people from cheating, such as live chat and webcams to, "check up" on students as they study or take tests. The live chat method allows professors to pop up unexpectedly and do an on the spot quiz, to verify that: 1) the student is actually there during class time, and 2) that the student is knowledgeable in the subject matter and can answer the question unprepared. This method is especially effective, since it urges the student to be prepared at any time and produce proof that they are learning. While no one can prevent cheating 100 percent, these methods are very helpful in keeping it to a minimum, and ensuring that students are getting a real education when taking online courses.
Remember, the purpose of college is not to simply earn a degree, but to learn valuable skills that will lend themselves to a rewarding and exciting career.