Student copying, plagiarism and collusion challenge academic integrity and ethics, but why does it exist?
The following article from The Conversation outlines issues but does not address those related to cross cultural or social issues, pedagogy of top down content and encouraging teacher or lecturer centred rote learning and regurgitation of content with only lower to mid-level skills or outcomes according to Bloom’s taxonomy.
October 18, 2018 3.55pm AEDT
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.
In 2017 alone, the UK’s Daily Telegraph reported more than 20,000 students had bought professionally written essays from the country’s two largest essay-writing services.
According to a 2018 study, as many as 31 million university students worldwide are paying third parties to complete their assessments. This staggering figure was drawn by reviewing 65 studies on contract cheating. Since 2014, as many as 15.7% of surveyed students admitted to outsourcing their assignments and essays.
The growth in contract cheating speaks volumes about the modern view of education as a commodity…..
…..One key problem for overhauling assessment design is the troubling proliferation of casual labour in universities. The development of assessments is rarely, if ever, accounted for in casual teaching rates.
Turnitin works to reduce students’ work into patterns and algorithms, weeding out supposed cheats and frauds. But a more considered response must take into account the complex reasons students turn to these services in the first place.
Understanding why students are willing to pay for assessments might also illuminate a problem at the heart of tertiary education – one that is related to our present repackaging of knowledge as a resource to be bought, rather than an ennobling pursuit that is worthy of all the energy, time, and attention teachers and students can devote to it.’
In the case of many international students it’s having them relearning how to learn, through eliciting content, building knowledge and developing higher level skills through student centred interaction and collaboration supported by personal responsibility, i.e. ‘andragogy’ for adult learners.