Tagged: contract cheating

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.

Quality Assurance Agency Recommendations On Contract Cheating Attract Media Interest

The Quality Assurance Agency in the UK released a set of recommendations for universities and higher education providers discussing how they should be acting regarding the threat of contract cheating.

As taken straight from their press release, the guidelines recommend:

  • clear information for students on the risks of cheating, including academic misconduct being reported to relevant professional bodies
  • support for students to develop independent study skills, including academic writing
  • using a range of assessment methods to limit opportunities for cheating
  • blocking essay mill sites and taking action against essay mill advertising on campus
  • smarter detection, including new software and greater familiarity with students’ personal styles and capabilities
  • appropriate support for whistle blowing – to protect accuser as well as accused
  • student involvement on academic misconduct policies and panels.

The media picked up on the story, particularly within the UK.

The Guardian focused particularly on the recommendation for universities to block access to essay mills, taking quotes from several people prominent in the academic integrity field, myself included.

The Telegraph went for a story before the official report release, suggesting that lecturers were working for essay mills and helping students to cheat (but evidence to support this is rather limited).

I participated in live TV and radio interviews. You can see a clip from my appearance on BBC TV here:

I also contributed articles based around different aspects of the story. You can see coverage on the Conversation and discussion on LinkedIn.

As is so often the case, it’s interesting to see how the media in India have managed to turn this into a local story. The quotes assigned to me in that piece are from me, but they’ve gone through several years of recycling. It’s interesting how they continue to find ways to make them fit!