Contract Cheating Goes Beyond Essays And Programs

Initially, when we first started looking at contract cheating, the type of requests made by students to get work completed for them invariably fell within two categories.

Either, they were the standard type of essay, created using an essay mill or auction site.

Or, they were some kind of Computing related assignment, usually programming. Presumably, this was because the main types of auction sites used were particularly geared towards this cheating activity.

But, the world of contract cheating has moved on.

Today’s students are much more sophisticated and they know other ways to use these tools to their advantage.

For instance, it’s very easy to go out and to get someone to prepare a presentation for you. That includes all the slides that you need to give the presentation, ready to go. A script can also be provided.

That’s a ready made service offered now by different essay companies.

There are also larger assignments submitted in stages. The kind of thing where a student has to supply an outline, then a draft, then a final version.

These are easy to fool. Just hire someone to work with you all the way throughout that assignment process. Get them to write the outline, the draft and the final version and then pass the feedback after each stage back to the hired writer.

That kind of thing is particularly crucial where a Final Year Project or Dissertation is involved, which can be considered just like a very large assignment, submitted in stages.

The academic world needs to be smarter with the type of assignments that are set to students and the ways in which these are made contract cheating proof.

Students Warned Cheats Will Be Caught – The Courier

The Scottish Publication, the Courier, has reported on the trade in contract cheating across Fife and Tayside.

Students Warned Cheats Will Be CaughtThe report is interesting, as quotes are given from universities including St. Andrews, Abertay and Dundee, none of whom seem to believe that contract cheating is much of a problem.

The quotes also show that universities are confusing contract cheating plagiarism. They infer that electronic detection systems are used to detect cheating. However, there are not yet any electronic systems which will successfully detect contract cheating. By its very nature, contract cheating represents original work that has been produced to order.

As an example, the following statement was given by a Dundee University spokesman:

There have been two instances of sufficient seriousness during the last three years to be considered by our Academic Dishonesty Committee. Neither of these instances related to ‘contract cheating’.

Such a low rate of detection of what the article refers to as “written to order essays” is worrying.

This suggests that more needs to be done across the sector to address the perceptions that universities have about contract cheating and the ways that this academic integrity issue can be prevented and detected.