Tagged: contract cheating

Contract Cheating: Surveys Of Australian University Staff And Students

Two new publications look in detail of the attitudes of university staff and university students in Australia towards contract cheating.

University Staff

Rowena Harper, T. Bretag, C. Ellis, P. Newton, P. Rozenberg, S. Saddiqui & K. van Haeringen (2018): Contract cheating: a survey of Australian university staff, Studies in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2018.1462789

Abstract

If media reports are to be believed, Australian universities are facing a significant and growing problem of students outsourcing their assessment to third parties, a behaviour commonly known as ‘contract cheating’. Teaching staff are integral to preventing and managing this emerging form of cheating, yet there has been little evidence-based research to inform changes to their practice. This paper reports on the findings of a large-scale survey of teaching staff in Australian universities on the topic of contract cheating. It investigated staff experiences with and attitudes towards student cheating, and their views on the individual, contextual and organisational factors that inhibit or support efforts to minimise it. Findings indicate that contract cheating could be addressed by improving key aspects of the teaching and learning environment, including the relationships between students and staff. Such improvements are likely to minimise cheating, and also improve detection when cheating occurs.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03075079.2018.1462789

University Students

Tracey Bretag, Rowena Harper, Michael Burton, Cath Ellis, Philip Newton, Pearl Rozenberg, Sonia Saddiqui & Karen van Haeringen (2018): Contract cheating: a survey of Australian university students, Studies in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2018.1462788

Abstract

Recent Australian media scandals suggest that university students are increasingly outsourcing their assessments to third parties – a behaviour known as ‘contract cheating’. This paper reports on findings from a large survey of students from eight Australian universities (n = 14,086) which sought to explore students’ experiences with and attitudes towards contract cheating, and the contextual factors that may influence this behaviour. A spectrum of seven outsourcing behaviours were investigated, and three significant variables were found to be associated with contract cheating: dissatisfaction with the teaching and learning environment, a perception that there are ‘lots of opportunities to cheat’, and speaking a Language Other than English (LOTE) at home. To minimise contract cheating, our evidence suggests that universities need to support the development of teaching and learning environments which nurture strong student–teacher relationships, reduce opportunities to cheat through curriculum and assessment design, and address the well-recognised language and learning needs of LOTE students.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03075079.2018.1462788

Beyond Contract Cheating, Towards Academic Integrity Seminar

The research field around contract cheating has begun to move so quickly that it is difficult for new people joining the field to stay up to date.

The Beyond Contract Cheating presentation, which I delivered as part of a seminar at the University of St Andrews, aims to put the latest UK and international guidance into context. At the same time, it is also introduces the idea of working with students to generate a positive culture of academic integrity.

You can find the slides used in the presentation archived on my SlideShare account. There are also many other contract cheating slide decks there.

The presentations slides are also embedded below.

Student Union Support For Stopping Contract Cheating Is Growing

Do students think that we should “defeat the cheat”? Or should we “excel with integrity”?

It’s really great to see Students Unions getting on board to share the message that cheating is wrong.

Here’s a video discussion which originally formed a live broadcast on Facebook between Darren Clarke, Student Union President at Staffordshire University and Dr. Thomas Lancaster. This was recorded as part of the 2nd International Day of Action against Contract Cheating.

At the end, you can see Darren give his whiteboard declaration showing his support for the campaign.

We’re encouraging more Student Unions to support events like this. They don’t have to be timed with the International Day of Action (which was also Global Ethics Day). Getting students involved in saying no to cheating is really having a positive effect on academic integrity.