Proposal Title

Ethics, EdTech, and the Rise of Contract Cheating

Presenter Information

Brenna Clarke GrayFollow

Presentation Type

Long (40 minute) synchronous

Start Date

16-2-2021 1:50 PM

End Date

16-2-2021 2:30 PM

Proposal Abstract

Ethics, EdTech, and the Rise of Contract Cheating by Brenna Clarke Gray This talk traces the connections between the unethical use of algorithms, inattention to issues of equity and access, and failures of data privacy to the rise of contract cheating. The reported experiences of instructors and students tell us that contract cheating firms mine student data and exploit existing relationships between students and their educational technologies in order to find new clients and to extort the ones they already have. These companies use algorithmic searches of social media to track down vulnerable students, and once granted access to a closed educational context like Moodle, approach more students in the course or institution, which is how the use of these services seems to multiply by orders of magnitude within an institution. Once these companies have student ID and credit card information, they often engage in financial exploitation of students. Research demonstrates that many of the educational conditions that drive students to seek out contract cheating firms — lack of guidance on assignments; high-stakes assessments without appropriate scaffolding; personal or financial crises — are also conditions that do not promote learning. This chapter argues that the epidemic of contract cheating can be insulated against by a renewed attention to ethical pedagogical strategies in the deployment of educational technologies. Given the explosive growth of the contract cheating problem and the huge money it makes for unethical players, it is imperative that post-secondary institutions protect students by all possible means. Limiting for-profit vendor access to student data, avoiding course-in-a-box homework system approaches to education, and using open pedagogical strategies to design persistent, non-disposable assignments are critical strategies in the fight against contract cheating, as is educating students and faculty about the importance of data security and privacy. References: Clarke, R., & Lancaster, T. (2006). Eliminating the successor to plagiarism: Identifying the usage of contract cheating sites. Paper presented at the Second International Plagiarism Conference. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.120.5440&rep=rep1&type=pdf Ellis, C., Zucker I.M., & Randall D. (2018). The infernal business of contract cheating: understanding the business processes and models of academic custom writing sites. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 14. https://edintegrity.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1007/s40979-017-0024-3 Medway, D., Roper, S., & Gillooly, L. (2018). Contract cheating in UK higher education: A covert investigation of essay mills. British Educational Research Journal, 44(3), 393-418. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/berj.3335 Newton, P.M. (2018). How common is commercial contract cheating in higher education and is it increasing? A review. Frontiers in Education. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feduc.2018.00067/full Orosz, G. et al. (2015). Teacher enthusiasm: a potential cure of academic cheating. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 318. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4379758/ Peters, M., Boies, T., & Morin, S. (2019) Teaching academic integrity in Queen universities: roles professors adopt. Frontiers in Education. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feduc.2019.00099/full Ramberg, J. & Modin, B. (2019). School effectiveness and student cheating: Do students’ grades and moral standards matter for this relationship? Social Psychology of Education, 22, 517-538. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11218-019-09486-6 Rigby, D. et al. (2014). Contract cheating & the market in essays. Journal of Economic Behaviour & Organization, 111, 23-37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2014.12.019 Rundle, K., Curtis, G.J., & Clare, J. (2019). Why students do not engage in contract cheating. Frontiers in Psychology. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02229/full Rowland S., et al. (2017) Just turn to us: the persuasive features of contract cheating websites. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 43(4) 652-665. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2017.1391948

Statement

This presentation speaks directly to an important issue in online teaching and learning. This also deals with the theme Beyond Barriers: OER (Open Educational Resources) as this pertains to good Open Educational Practices--- namely those which will help promote academic integrity in online settings.

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Feb 16th, 1:50 PM Feb 16th, 2:30 PM

Ethics, EdTech, and the Rise of Contract Cheating

Ethics, EdTech, and the Rise of Contract Cheating by Brenna Clarke Gray This talk traces the connections between the unethical use of algorithms, inattention to issues of equity and access, and failures of data privacy to the rise of contract cheating. The reported experiences of instructors and students tell us that contract cheating firms mine student data and exploit existing relationships between students and their educational technologies in order to find new clients and to extort the ones they already have. These companies use algorithmic searches of social media to track down vulnerable students, and once granted access to a closed educational context like Moodle, approach more students in the course or institution, which is how the use of these services seems to multiply by orders of magnitude within an institution. Once these companies have student ID and credit card information, they often engage in financial exploitation of students. Research demonstrates that many of the educational conditions that drive students to seek out contract cheating firms — lack of guidance on assignments; high-stakes assessments without appropriate scaffolding; personal or financial crises — are also conditions that do not promote learning. This chapter argues that the epidemic of contract cheating can be insulated against by a renewed attention to ethical pedagogical strategies in the deployment of educational technologies. Given the explosive growth of the contract cheating problem and the huge money it makes for unethical players, it is imperative that post-secondary institutions protect students by all possible means. Limiting for-profit vendor access to student data, avoiding course-in-a-box homework system approaches to education, and using open pedagogical strategies to design persistent, non-disposable assignments are critical strategies in the fight against contract cheating, as is educating students and faculty about the importance of data security and privacy. References: Clarke, R., & Lancaster, T. (2006). Eliminating the successor to plagiarism: Identifying the usage of contract cheating sites. Paper presented at the Second International Plagiarism Conference. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.120.5440&rep=rep1&type=pdf Ellis, C., Zucker I.M., & Randall D. (2018). The infernal business of contract cheating: understanding the business processes and models of academic custom writing sites. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 14. https://edintegrity.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1007/s40979-017-0024-3 Medway, D., Roper, S., & Gillooly, L. (2018). Contract cheating in UK higher education: A covert investigation of essay mills. British Educational Research Journal, 44(3), 393-418. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/berj.3335 Newton, P.M. (2018). How common is commercial contract cheating in higher education and is it increasing? A review. Frontiers in Education. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feduc.2018.00067/full Orosz, G. et al. (2015). Teacher enthusiasm: a potential cure of academic cheating. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 318. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4379758/ Peters, M., Boies, T., & Morin, S. (2019) Teaching academic integrity in Queen universities: roles professors adopt. Frontiers in Education. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feduc.2019.00099/full Ramberg, J. & Modin, B. (2019). School effectiveness and student cheating: Do students’ grades and moral standards matter for this relationship? Social Psychology of Education, 22, 517-538. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11218-019-09486-6 Rigby, D. et al. (2014). Contract cheating & the market in essays. Journal of Economic Behaviour & Organization, 111, 23-37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2014.12.019 Rundle, K., Curtis, G.J., & Clare, J. (2019). Why students do not engage in contract cheating. Frontiers in Psychology. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02229/full Rowland S., et al. (2017) Just turn to us: the persuasive features of contract cheating websites. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 43(4) 652-665. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2017.1391948