Contract cheating: an increasing challenge for global academic community arising from COVID-19

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Abstract

Due to COVID-19, universities with limited expertise with the digital environment had to rapidly transition to online teaching and assessment. This transition did not create a new problem but has offered more opportunities for contract cheating and diversified the types of such services.

While universities and lecturers were adjusting to the new teaching styles and developing new assessment methods, opportunistic contract cheating providers have been offering $50 COVID-19 discounts and students securing the services of commercial online tutors to take their online exams or to take advantage of real-time assistance from ‘pros’ while sitting examinations. The article contributes to the discourse on contract cheating by reporting on an investigation of the scope and scale of the growing problems related to academic integrity exacerbated by an urgent transition to online assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The dark reality is the illegal services are developing at a faster pace than the systems required to curb them, as demonstrated by the results. The all-penetrating issues indicate systemic failures on a global scale that cannot be addressed by an individual academic or university acting alone. Multi-level solutions including academics, universities and the global community are essential. Future research must focus on developing a model of collaboration to address this problem on several levels, taking into account (1) individual academics, (2) universities, (3) countries and (4) international communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Number of pages20
JournalResearch and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning
Volume16
Issue number1
Early online date30 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jul 2021

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