Investigating contract cheating can be challenging. I’ve heard from many academics who have told me they’ve been suspicous of a piece of student work, that they might have got someone else to do it for them, but they don’t have the evidence to back this up. I also know of academics who have spent time comparing evidence as best they can, then had this thrown out at an academic integrity hearing.
This set of slides, which was used as a talking point at Deakin University, provides my ideas of the type of evidence that is available and could be appropriate to take to a panel. No one case will have all of these types of evidence. It is provided to make sure that academics are supporting and that they and panels have a shared understanding.
A report from ABC News raises an issue of what is called a “cheating scandal” taking place at Deakin University in Australia. An associated audio clip from ABC radio is also available.
The report mentions that contract cheating is a particular problem within the UK, although it may just be that more attention has been made so far to contract cheating within the UK than within Australia.
An issue with 30% of the students in one particular class coming under suspicion of cheating does show the seriousness with which Deakin University is taking online cheating.
It is also good to see that the university considers academic standards as more important than revenue from these intenational students. Hopefully, this trend will be evident within other institutions too.