The answers given clearly believe that this is a form of cheating, although there are some interesting observations put forward, including relating this problem to contract cheating.
One student suggests that they did just this, because they needed help with a problem, but acknowledged this to their instructor and received full marks.
Of more concern is that assignments are still being set where the answer can be easily found online. This is encouraging students to cheat.
Where a standard assignment is used, it makes it very difficult to monitor any contract cheating, as the same assignment will likely be traceable back to many different institutions. Some elements of uniqueness are needed.
Whilst it is clear that academics often expect the best from their students, continued work on designing assessments that make both plagiarism and contract cheating difficult is necessary.
This video blog posts looks at a method that students are using to get essays written on their behalf, often for as little as 1c per word. This technique for contract cheating uses the micro outsourcing site, Fiverr.com which has seen little coverage in the research literature.
As well as services for writing outlines, proof reading, creating programming code, solving Maths problems and the like at $5 a time, the video also shows an essay writer with 251 positive reviews from previous work. That’s at least 251 essays, assuming that not everyone leaves feedback.
There’s some very good feedback about the service and it’s interesting to see how the seller can sometimes produce multiple essays in a single day. That suggests that the quality may be lacking (and there is a suggestion in some of the feedback that there may be some plagiarism), but there are also some very high marks showing, including students with 95%.
One piece of recent feedback stood out to me, with a student noting $100 of repeat business (around 10,000 words in total across multiple essays).
This suggests that students are continuing to cheat regularly and to get away with it, especially when using dirt cheap contract cheating opportunities as is facilitated using sites such as Fiverr.com.
And that’s just one person using one seller on a single site.
There is certainly room for continued investigation of Fiverr.com and other low cost micro outsourcing sites for other instances of contract cheating.