Page 19 - Campus Technology, October/November 2018
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ANTI-PLAGIARISM TOOLS dian schaffhauser
What to Do About Contract Cheating
Contract cheating — the use of essay writing services to manufacture coursework — is on the rise, along with other forms of academic dishonesty. Here’s how technology can and can’t help.
WHEN 13 UNDERGRADUATE engineering students were booted out of the program at Australia’s Deakin University in May 2016 for taking part in “contract cheating,” it may have looked like just another round in institutional efforts to combat academic dishonesty, akin to reducing plagiarism or stamping out the use of term paper mills. However, some experts view this specific form of deceit as more pernicious because it can be so hard to detect by the usual tools and methods.
Wendy Sutherland-Smith, a longtime scholar of academic integrity, doesn’t hold back: “Contract cheating companies are really insidious, evil, nasty beasts,” she declared. As this director of teaching and learning in Deakin’s School of Psychology described, these operators promote themselves as “legitimate, authorized writing help services.” Their message: “We know the university hasn’t got time to really help you. We know that you’re struggling with timelines. We’re here to help you with writing. We’re available 24/7, which your university professors are not. We can talk to you
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | October/November 2018
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