A 20 Foot Cable And The Explosion Of Online Cheating

Posted in Teaching on April 5th, 2020 by steve

“Millions of college students are suddenly going to school online, whether they wanted to or not. Testing those students, administering the assessments of these newly displaced students is, well, a major test for the house of academia. That’s because students cheat …” (more)

[Derek Newton, Forbes, 5 April]

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Academic Integrity in Online Assessment

Posted in Teaching on April 4th, 2020 by steve

“In support of the move to online assessment in the context of Coronavirus Covid19, the following recommendations may be useful in the design and implementation of alternative assessment to minimise concerns about academic integrity …” (more)

[IUA, 3 April]

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‘Academic Discipline Integration by Contract Cheating Services and Essay Mills’

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on January 7th, 2020 by steve

Abstract: Contract cheating services are marketing to students at discipline level, using increasingly sophisticated techniques. The discipline level reach of these services has not been widely considered in the academic integrity literature. Much of the academic understanding of contract cheating is not discipline specific, but the necessary solutions to this problem may need to vary by discipline. This paper reviews current knowledge about contract cheating services at the discipline level, including summarising four studies that rank the relative volume of contract cheating within different academic disciplines. The reviewed studies show high volumes of contract cheating transactions in the disciplines of Business and Computing. Examples of discipline level contract cheating research and service advertising are provided. The main contribution of the paper is an analysis of the discipline level reach by contract cheating services as seen through an analysis of Google search results from the United Kingdom. This analysis of 19 discipline groups uses measures of organic search engine results, paid results and competition. Three discipline groups are shown as currently being heavily exploited by essay mills; these are: (1) Architecture, Building and Planning, (2) Computer Science and (3) Law. In addition, the discipline group of Creative Arts and Design is shown to be at risk of future exploitation. The paper recommends that academics are made aware about continual change in the contract cheating industry including the involved marketing taking place at discipline level. The paper concludes with a call to action for academia to develop discipline specific solutions to contract cheating.

Lancaster, T, Academic Discipline Integration by Contract Cheating Services and Essay Mills. Journal of Academic Ethics (2020), doi:10.1007/s10805-019-09357-x. Published: 7 January 2020.

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Exam Mills

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on November 18th, 2019 by steve

IrelandDrivetime‘s John Cooke talks to students in UL about exam mills, and Deirdre Stritch, programme manager with QQI, talks to Mary about the new rules that have been introduced to clamp down on academic cheating …” (mp3)

[RTÉ – Drivetime, 18 November]

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Crackdown on third level essay writing services begins in wake of anti-cheating laws

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on November 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A legal crackdown on the growing number of services writing essays or other assignments for third-level students is under way. New anti-cheating laws came into effect last week making it an offence either to provide or advertise cheating services or to publish adverts promoting such services …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 15 November]

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Academic cheating using paid-for essays ‘poses threat to integrity of third level’

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on November 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Academic cheating using online ‘essay mills’ is posing a significant threat to the integrity of higher education, the State body responsible for policing standards in third level has warned. International research indicates there has been a sharp rise in written-to-order essays and dissertations, with as many as one in seven graduates admitting to paying someone to undertake an assignment for them …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 14 November]

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What should universities do about organised cheating?

Posted in Teaching on September 16th, 2019 by steve

International“Every so often the world of higher education is swept by a big panic about systemic and widespread cheating. The latest instance is concern about contract cheating or essay mills that provide bespoke essays or papers for students …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 16 September]

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‘Ban all watches from exams to stop cheating’

Posted in Teaching on September 10th, 2019 by steve

“All watches should be banned from exam halls to discourage cheating, says an inquiry into the extent of malpractice in exams taken by pupils across the UK. Smart watches, connected to the internet, are already banned from use by students taking public exams …” (more)

[Sean Coughlan, BBC News, 10 September]

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NUI Galway president says cheating remains low despite threat by new technology

Posted in Teaching on August 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The President of NUI Galway says while instances of exam cheating are increasing, overall the number of cases remains extremely small. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh is reacting to new figures which reveal ‘smart watches’ are being linked with increases in cheating at colleges nationwide …” (more)

[Galway Bay FM, 8 August]

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Surge in university students wearing banned smartwatches in exams

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on August 8th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Universities have recorded a sharp increase in the number of students wearing banned smartwatches in exam halls. Most third-level institutions prohibit the use of Fitbits, Apple Watches and other devices which allow users to upload and access documents …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 8 August]

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The Irish Times view on cheating in third-level exams: Education is key to tackling problem

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on November 23rd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Cheating in higher education has never been easier. Online essay-writing services allow students to access written-to-order assignments and dissertations at a few hours’ notice. Smartphones and small electronic devices can provide access to information in an exam hall and allow students to gain an unfair advantage …” (more)

[Irish Times, 22 November]

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Cheating on the rise in Irish universities

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on November 20th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Cheating is on the rise in Irish universities and colleges with business studies students most likely to be accused of ‘academic dishonesty’. Since 2010, there have been at least 2,300 cases of students cheating at universities and institutes of technology, according to information compiled by The Irish Times based on Freedom of Information requests …” (more)

[Peter McGuire and Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 20 November]

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Who are the biggest cheaters in Irish universities?

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on November 20th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“There’s always been a temptation to cheat, and sneaking phones into exam halls or plagiarising from the internet has made it easier than ever before. Technology has also made it much easier to be caught, however, with higher education institutions increasingly using sophisticated plagiarism-detection tools such as TurnItIn and SafeAssign …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 20 November]

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College Records a Significant Increase in Plagiarism

Posted in Teaching on November 2nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Trinity recorded a significant increase in the number of students reported for plagiarism between 2015/16 and 2016/17, The University Times has learned. The increase, which was reported to University Council by former Senior Lecturer Dr Gillian Martin, was attributed to the implementation by the College of a plagiarism policy in 2015 …” (more)

[Aisling Marren, University Times, 2 November]

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‘Essay mills’ offering bespoke assignments to students to be made illegal

Posted in Governance and administration on October 29th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Websites offering bespoke essays to those in third level education are to be made illegal. New laws are being introduced to make cheating more difficult for students who are ‘gaming the system’. It will also be an offence if a person or company advertises the provision of these essay mill services …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 29 October]

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15% of students admit to buying essays. What can universities do about it?

Posted in Governance and administration on October 18th, 2018 by steve

“New research on plagiarism at university has revealed students are surprisingly unconcerned about a practice known as ‘contract cheating’. The term ‘contract cheating’ was coined in 2006, and describes students paying for completed assessments. At that time, concerns over the outsourcing of assessments were in their infancy, but today, contract cheating is big business …” (more)

[Jedidiah Evans, The Conversation, 18 October]

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Tough on essay mills, Tough on the causes of essay mills

Posted in Teaching on October 17th, 2018 by steve

“A campaign to outlaw essay mills in the UK has been running for a few months and 17 October marks the international day of action against contract cheating …” (more)

[Fanni Zombor, Wonkhe, 16 October]

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University chiefs ‘urge education secretary to ban essay mills’

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on September 27th, 2018 by steve

“More than 40 university chiefs are reported to have written to the education secretary calling for a ban on so-called ‘essay mills’. The vice-chancellors have called for companies who offer essay-writing services to be made illegal amid fears they are undermining the integrity of degree courses …” (more)

[Guardian, 27 September]

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Essay writing services must be banned to stop cheating, say academics

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on September 1st, 2018 by steve

“The British government has been urged to outlaw essay writing services that allow university students to pay for coursework for their degrees, after a study found that use of ‘contract cheating’ is rapidly increasing around the world. The study by Prof Philip Newton at Swansea University’s medical school collected evidence from surveys taken among students in higher education …” (more)

[Richard Adams, Guardian, 31 August]

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‘Universities to blame’ for profiteering essay mills

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on August 15th, 2018 by steve

“I’ve written here quite a few times now, including most recently here but also here, about the corrosive effect of the profiteering essay mill industry and the growing threat it represents to the integrity of UK higher education …” (more)

[Paul Greatrix, Wonkhe, 14 August]

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