Contract Cheating Within The
Computing Discipline
Examining The Threats And Solutions For
Face-To-Face And Distance Learni...
A Bit Of Background
@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#contractcheating

2
What We’re Covering…
An introduction to contract cheating, informed by four main
studies within the Innovations in Computi...
Who Are We?
Dr. Thomas Lancaster

Robert Clarke

Senior Lecturer in Computing
PhD “Effective And Efficient
Plagiarism Dete...
Does The Sector Care About
Contract Cheating?
@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#contractcheating

5
Contract Cheating
Contract cheating occurs when a student has
original work produced for them, which they
then submit for ...
Typical Contract Cheating
Through Essay Mills

If you thinking, "I just need someone to write my
essay?" ProfEssays.com is...
“Essay Mills: University
Course Work To Order”
Times Higher Education
10 October 2013
“The damage contract cheating can
in...
A Nuclear
Engineer?
this a assignment for do shielding for fast reactor i need
the materials, shape, attenuation coefficie...
Freedom Of Information
Act Request
Times Higher Education asked UK universities for
details of students disciplined for ha...
How Do Universities React
To Contract Cheating?

“In one case at Newcastle University, for example, an
international stude...
Need To Balance
These Interests…
Teaching
Staff

Admin
Staff

Students
Professional
Bodies

The Politics

Software
Provide...
The Questions
Do universities always want to know about
contract cheating?
Do universities always make it possible for
det...
The Traceable Type Of
Contract Cheating
@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#contractcheating

14
Agency Sites For
Commercial Work

@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#contractcheating

15
Agency Sites Can Be
Used To Find
Legitimate Workers

http://www.freelancer.com

@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuni...
Contract Cheating
Using Agency Sites
1. Student posts assignment details
onto agency site

Workers
2. Workers make bids to...
Explicit Agency Sites For
Student Assignments

If you don't understand your assignment or
don't have enough time to comple...
Traceable Sites Provide
Detectives With Access To
Assignment Details
Project
Status

Budget
range

Student
alias
Details
o...
Postings By A Typical
Student
Student
"davidwood91“
posted 5
OPENGL
assignments
Mar-Apr 2013

@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/bir...
Postings By A Less
Typical “Student”
Title

Paid

Coder

Date

Teaching Methods -- Literacy & Elementary Reading

$85 USD
...
Not All Contract
Cheating Is Traceable…
Friends and family
“Will you help me – you’ve studied this before?”

Assignment Wr...
Breakdown Of Contract
Cheating Attempts By Agency
Postings by Agency Mar 2005 – Jun
2013
Total of 18,729 detected items
Fr...
Postings On Freelancer
(January 2007 to June 2013)
5000000

Incorporation of
vWorker postings

4500000

Project ID (sequen...
The Extent And Value Of
Contract Cheating
@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#contractcheating

25
First Contract Cheating Study
On RentACoder
Number of cases of Contract Cheating by Country where the source was identifie...
The RentACoder
Findings
The “average” student posts 4-7 assignments
Students were not getting detected
They must have been...
Study Of Computing
Assignments On RentACoder
(910 cases from Mar 04 to Dec 06)

Lancaster, T. and Clarke, R. (2007), Asses...
Computing Findings
Programming in C++/Java most common type
Reflects the types of assignments Computing academics post
(40...
EssayBay Study
(627 cases in 5 months)
Postings by UCAS Subject Category
N Business & Admin studies
L Social Studies
V His...
Level Of EssayBay
Work
Postings by level
Undergraduate
Masters
GCSE A/A2
High Sch
PhD
Advanced Placement
GNVQ
PhD ?
Intern...
EssayBay Findings
First study of an auction site dedicated to enabling contract
cheating
Rentacoder (now vWorker) 85% legi...
EssayBay
Analysis By Source Institution
USA

UK

CAN

AUS

76%

Unknown
0

100

200

300

400

500

600

Only 24% of posti...
The Detective Role
Most attribution requires lots of “legwork”
No current automated solution

Occasional success using Tur...
An Estimate Of The
Detective Success
Assignments
Posted

Source
Attributed
Student
Identified

1 in 3 postings
detected
@M...
Business studies #
06724 (not traced)
Take Home Exam
An Innocent Abroad: Fred Bailey in Tokyo Case
Study Analysis based on...
Intermediary Contractors
And Frequent Workers
Study (2013)
Worker

Jobs

Value USD

sdk2788

21

5,195

raiseq

9

2,126

...
Typical Range Of Postings
By An Intermediary
Contractor
cjylondon on Freelancer
Based on a sample of 59
postings made Marc...
Typical Frequent Worker
Activities
Assignments Completed By “sdk2788” Apr
– May 2013
Title
Academic Writing - Literature S...
The “Untraceable” Side Of
Contract Cheating Can
Sometimes Be Seen…
@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#con...
The Cast Of Players

Student

Essay Mill
Site
@MyBCU

Agency Site

Intermediary
Contractor
www.facebook.com/birminghamcity...
Contractor Links To
Essay-Mill Sites
Posting and details on Freelancer

Entry on Facebook

Essay-Mill Site

If your colleg...
Contractor To Essay
Mill Site Link

http://www.anavasis.gr/
@MyBCU

Thank you and welcome to the Site
The Student Tuition ...
Contractor Example
Postings
The work is your one of our customers who is a
student, so it is a student work
Abstract: The ...
What Does This Mean For
Online Universities?
@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#contractcheating

45
“A Quick Trawl”
These examples based on a quick 30 minute
trawl of common contract cheating sites and
essay mills on Thurs...
@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#contractcheating

47
B120 – An Introduction
to Business Studies

@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#contractcheating

48
@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#contractcheating

49
@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#contractcheating

50
http://www.cyberessays.com/lists/open-university-e214-tma/
@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#contractche...
Online Universities

Frequently found on “contract cheating” sites
Examples of multiple (10+) posting by one person
Often ...
Addressing The Challenges
For Online And Face-To-Face
Universities
@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#con...
Common Sources
The same material is used by several colleges
Exercises from text books
Online tests associated with text b...
Further Technology
Assistance Needed
Putting assignment briefs on Turnitin
Helps “detectives” – like Bob
Warns academics i...
The Big Challenge?
MOOCs
From our experience we expect to find:
Multiple hits from Google, which will foil attribution
att...
Further Resources
@MyBCU

www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity

#contractcheating

57
For More
Information
Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contract_cheating
Contract Cheating Special Interest Group (s...
Upcoming Introductory
Workshop
Contract Cheating Within The Computing
Discipline Workshop
Workshop provided by Higher Educ...
Our Contact Details
Thomas Lancaster
Email: thomas.lancaster@bcu.ac.uk
Website: http://thomaslancaster.co.uk
Twitter: @DrL...
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Contract Cheating Within The Computing Discipline – Examining The Threats And Solutions For Face-To-Face And Distance Learning Courses - The Open University - 24/10/13

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This research seminar on contract cheating, presented at The Open University on 24 October 2013, explored the role of contract cheating in both face-to-face and distance learning courses. The results were based of around a corpus of over 19,000 attempts by students to get other people to do their work them, as well as four main quantitative research studies. The seminar focused particularly on issues facing The Open University and similar online providers of education.

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Contract Cheating Within The Computing Discipline – Examining The Threats And Solutions For Face-To-Face And Distance Learning Courses - The Open University - 24/10/13

  1. 1. Contract Cheating Within The Computing Discipline Examining The Threats And Solutions For Face-To-Face And Distance Learning Courses Thomas Lancaster & Robert Clarke The Open University Thursday 24 October 2013 @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 1
  2. 2. A Bit Of Background @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 2
  3. 3. What We’re Covering… An introduction to contract cheating, informed by four main studies within the Innovations in Computing Education research group at Birmingham City University and our own experience. The seminar is intended for Computing academics (examples are selected to particularly look at the implications for Distance Learning courses) The focus is on: Understanding the contract cheating processes and the people involved Measuring the extent of contract cheating formed from available research data Helping Computing educators to address the upcoming challenges of contract cheating (including our big challenge) @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 3
  4. 4. Who Are We? Dr. Thomas Lancaster Robert Clarke Senior Lecturer in Computing PhD “Effective And Efficient Plagiarism Detection” Programme Leader Computer Science Educational Consultant Visiting Lecturer/Principal Lecturer 30 Years Experience Teaching At BCU 19,000 Attempts at Contract Cheating @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 4
  5. 5. Does The Sector Care About Contract Cheating? @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 5
  6. 6. Contract Cheating Contract cheating occurs when a student has original work produced for them, which they then submit for academic credit Since this is original work, it will not be detected as plagiarised when running student submissions through Turnitin @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 6
  7. 7. Typical Contract Cheating Through Essay Mills If you thinking, "I just need someone to write my essay?" ProfEssays.com is the right choice if you want to get the best grade for your assignment. We strive to be the best partner for your academic career. Try our services – buy your essay now! @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 7
  8. 8. “Essay Mills: University Course Work To Order” Times Higher Education 10 October 2013 “The damage contract cheating can inflict on society is clear. Graduates emerge from university with huge (and in some disciplines, potentially dangerous) gaps in their learning and knowledge.” http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/features/essay-mills-university-coursework-to-order/3/2007934.article @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 8
  9. 9. A Nuclear Engineer? this a assignment for do shielding for fast reactor i need the materials, shape, attenuation coefficient and size of the shielding and dose analysis around the reactor. this for health physics or nuclear engineering Do you want to live within 5 miles of this person? @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 9
  10. 10. Freedom Of Information Act Request Times Higher Education asked UK universities for details of students disciplined for handing in custom essays 29 students disciplined in 2011-2012 30 students disciplined in 2012-2013 “More than half” of 59 from outside the UK 13 students out of 59 expelled @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 10
  11. 11. How Do Universities React To Contract Cheating? “In one case at Newcastle University, for example, an international student suspected of handing in work purchased from the site Essays.uk.com was given a ‘final written warning’ but no other punishment.” http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press.office/inthemedia @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 11
  12. 12. Need To Balance These Interests… Teaching Staff Admin Staff Students Professional Bodies The Politics Software Providers Media Government Agencies Detectives @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 12
  13. 13. The Questions Do universities always want to know about contract cheating? Do universities always make it possible for detectives to tell them about contract cheating? @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 13
  14. 14. The Traceable Type Of Contract Cheating @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 14
  15. 15. Agency Sites For Commercial Work @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 15
  16. 16. Agency Sites Can Be Used To Find Legitimate Workers http://www.freelancer.com @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 16
  17. 17. Contract Cheating Using Agency Sites 1. Student posts assignment details onto agency site Workers 2. Workers make bids to do the work 3. Student selects bid Payment is escrowed $50 Student Agency Site 4. Selected Worker does assignment 5. Student receives solution Payment is released to Worker @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 17
  18. 18. Explicit Agency Sites For Student Assignments If you don't understand your assignment or don't have enough time to complete it, let our tutors take care of the work for you. @MyBCU Post your homework for free and wait for answers from teachers. Most likely, more than one teacher will answer your question. You will be able to see a preview of the answers and purchase the one that seems the best for you. www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 18
  19. 19. Traceable Sites Provide Detectives With Access To Assignment Details Project Status Budget range Student alias Details other postings Selected worker @MyBCU Agreed price www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 19
  20. 20. Postings By A Typical Student Student "davidwood91“ posted 5 OPENGL assignments Mar-Apr 2013 @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 20
  21. 21. Postings By A Less Typical “Student” Title Paid Coder Date Teaching Methods -- Literacy & Elementary Reading $85 USD Mar 18, 13 Teaching Methods--Literacy & Elementary Reading $100 USD geologistt remnyakovav w Competency Exam Task $175 USD sdk2788 Jan 21, 12 Formal and informal assessment techniques for evaluating $90 USD sdk2788 Jan 5, 12 Bias in Testing $90 USD sdk2788 Dec 18, 11 Teaching Writing in the classroom $60 USD sdk2788 Nov 21, 11 Classroom Social Enviorment $60 USD sdk2788 Nov 14, 11 CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT - Management Systems $65 USD sdk2788 Oct 6, 11 Classroom Management; Routines $60 USD sdk2788 Sep 9, 11 Experiential Learning Setting & Communicating Expectations In the classroom Essay $50 USD MrSir Apr 19, 11 $35 USD MrSir Mar 4, 11 Legal Rights of Students with Disabilities essay $50 USD MrSir Feb 10, 11 Human development and learning, short essay $30 USD hotline69 Feb 7, 11 Cognitive development, a compare & contrast essay $40 USD sdk2788 Jan 31, 11 @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity Mar 4, 13 “pennykw” posted 27 items from Jan 2011 to Mar 2013 Either one student posting all his/her assignments or an Intermediary Contractor specialising in education courses at WGU (Western Governors University) #contractcheating 21
  22. 22. Not All Contract Cheating Is Traceable… Friends and family “Will you help me – you’ve studied this before?” Assignment Writing Services Advertised On The Internet “How much will my essay cost?” Private Tutors “Can you come, teach me and help me to write this write this for me?” @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 22
  23. 23. Breakdown Of Contract Cheating Attempts By Agency Postings by Agency Mar 2005 – Jun 2013 Total of 18,729 detected items Freelancer (+ previously vWorker) FREELANCER 10558 VWORKER 5468 GETACODER 1289 ESSAYBAY 725 SCRIPTLANCE 216 OTHER vWorker 294 LIVEPERSON 105 TRANSTUTORS has “no homework”policy but closed auctions Kasamba (Liveperson) 45 ODESK 29 0 main sites examined easy to search give most details of users tracking sub-contractors “tutorial” site 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 Number of postings Student Of Fortune + Transtutors sells HW solutions Clarke, R. and Lancaster, T. (2013), Commercial Aspects Of Contract Cheating, ITiCSE 2013, Canterbury, United Kingdom @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 23
  24. 24. Postings On Freelancer (January 2007 to June 2013) 5000000 Incorporation of vWorker postings 4500000 Project ID (sequence) 4000000 3500000 Incorporation of ScriptLance postings 3000000 2500000 2000000 1500000 Incorporation of LimeExchange postings 1000000 Items below trend line not detected when first posted 500000 0 Jan, 07 Jan, 08 Jan, 09 Jan, 10 Jan, 11 Jan, 12 Jan, 13 Date Posting Detected @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 24
  25. 25. The Extent And Value Of Contract Cheating @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 25
  26. 26. First Contract Cheating Study On RentACoder Number of cases of Contract Cheating by Country where the source was identified (912 cases from Mar 04 to Oct 06) Country nCases % USA 459 50% United Kingdom 239 26% Australia 101 11% Canada 61 7% Other 34 4% Turkey 18 2% Total 912 100% Clarke, R. and Lancaster, T. (2006), Eliminating the Successor to Plagiarism? Identifying the Usage of Contract Cheating Sites, in Proceedings of 2nd International Plagiarism Conference, Gateshead, United Kingdom @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 26
  27. 27. The RentACoder Findings The “average” student posts 4-7 assignments Students were not getting detected They must have been getting “value for money” Source mostly courses in English language Mostly USA, UK, Australia Other countries run courses in English Turkey shows up because material is easily Googled Small number of high number of postings Identifies “contractors” who do post work for others Usually work from different colleges and subjects @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 27
  28. 28. Study Of Computing Assignments On RentACoder (910 cases from Mar 04 to Dec 06) Lancaster, T. and Clarke, R. (2007), Assessing Contract Cheating Through Auction Sites – A Computing Perspective, 8th Annual Conference of the Higher Education Academy for Information and Computer Sciences, Southampton, United Kingdom @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 28
  29. 29. Computing Findings Programming in C++/Java most common type Reflects the types of assignments Computing academics post (40%) 32 “Major projects” were detected Only 3.5% overall in this survey But 9.5% (22 out of 231) bid requests from UK Average number of postings per student down from smaller sample Because detectives are spotting more first-time offenders? More students seemingly starting to use agency sites @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 29
  30. 30. EssayBay Study (627 cases in 5 months) Postings by UCAS Subject Category N Business & Admin studies L Social Studies V Hist & Philosophical studies B Subjects allied to Medicine X Education C Biological Sciences Q Linguistics, Classics & related G Mathematical & Comp Sci M Law H Engineering K Architecture,Build & Plan F Physical Sciences W Creative Arts & Design P Mass Comms and Documentation R European Langs, Lit & related 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 Lancaster, T. and Clarke, R. (2012), Dealing with Contract Cheating: A Question of Attribution, 1 st HEA STEM Conference April 2012, London, United Kingdom @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 30
  31. 31. Level Of EssayBay Work Postings by level Undergraduate Masters GCSE A/A2 High Sch PhD Advanced Placement GNVQ PhD ? International Bacc 0 @MyBCU 50 100 150 200 250 www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity 300 350 400 #contractcheating 450 500 31
  32. 32. EssayBay Findings First study of an auction site dedicated to enabling contract cheating Rentacoder (now vWorker) 85% legitimate work EssayBay ceased fully functioning in Aug 2010, but has been replaced by other similar sites Shows wide range of subjects involved Maths & Computing only 5% Business Studies main category (25%) Everything from “anthropology to theology” Range of levels of work Difficult to verify (mostly self-reported by student) Significant number at Masters level (21%) Some PhD requests – mostly research proposals @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 32
  33. 33. EssayBay Analysis By Source Institution USA UK CAN AUS 76% Unknown 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 Only 24% of postings traced back to their originating institutions “Attributability” of assignments found to be a key factor @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 33
  34. 34. The Detective Role Most attribution requires lots of “legwork” No current automated solution Occasional success using Turnitin to scan assignment briefs But this depends on enough information having been obtained within Turnitin to aid in attribution @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 34
  35. 35. An Estimate Of The Detective Success Assignments Posted Source Attributed Student Identified 1 in 3 postings detected @MyBCU 1 in 3 attributed 1 in 27 cheaters dealt with 1 in 3 students found www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 35
  36. 36. Business studies # 06724 (not traced) Take Home Exam An Innocent Abroad: Fred Bailey in Tokyo Case Study Analysis based on Cross Cultural Management view point (using Hofstede's Cultural Indices and MBI Frame work) Google finds about 181,000 results @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 36
  37. 37. Intermediary Contractors And Frequent Workers Study (2013) Worker Jobs Value USD sdk2788 21 5,195 raiseq 9 2,126 writingspirit 6 1,146 hotline69 5 424 saeedyasir 3 1,134 waqar21081974 3 419 dmjuma 3 245 writer048 2 628 jnk87 2 449 swiftcult22 2 196 PixelBrains 1 471 noureenpenwalla 1 314 Balistap40 1 68 Totals 59 12,814 Intermediary Contractors agree, for a fee, to complete multiple assignments for multiple students. Frequent Workers specialise in undertaking student assignments. Contractor “cjylondon” made 59 postings between March and July 2011, and largely used the same workers Clarke, R. and Lancaster, T. (2013), Commercial Aspects Of Contract Cheating, ITiCSE 2013, Canterbury, United Kingdom @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 37
  38. 38. Typical Range Of Postings By An Intermediary Contractor cjylondon on Freelancer Based on a sample of 59 postings made March to June 2011 Total value of 12,814 USD Average 217 USD Included assignments attributed to 18 different UK universities. @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 38
  39. 39. Typical Frequent Worker Activities Assignments Completed By “sdk2788” Apr – May 2013 Title Academic Writing - Literature Short Answer Questions Academic Writing - Book Report Technical writing Quality System in IT 10 Page Paper with References IT MGMT Task 3 IT MGMT Task 1 Strategic Information Systems The transition and influence of market economy in Russia Casablanca Essay English Literature comparative essay Why Didn't They Ask Evans? PESTEL analysis Research paper - Marketing Mix Analysis answer the questions in essay style OIL, OPEC and World Economies Writing a financial report Global shifts have occurred in recent years fuelled partly by the Land Economic Essay -1500 Words - Harvard Referencing @MyBCU Employer hatcher hatcher richardgush Thush73 awj118 Tguitari Tguitari munishluther Alihan777 hatcher caro155347 greenpaint hatcher munishluther jale007bond jus91 ustesol TheMelt Alihan777 Sunnitro Average www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity Value USD 105 62 435 204 310 50 50 280 471 125 132 110 187 70 130 107 185 181 129 100 171 #contractcheating 39
  40. 40. The “Untraceable” Side Of Contract Cheating Can Sometimes Be Seen… @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 40
  41. 41. The Cast Of Players Student Essay Mill Site @MyBCU Agency Site Intermediary Contractor www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity Worker The student may “outsource” the work direct to the agency or indirectly through a essay-mill site or intermediary contractor #contractcheating 41
  42. 42. Contractor Links To Essay-Mill Sites Posting and details on Freelancer Entry on Facebook Essay-Mill Site If your college or university teacher gives you an assignment or project which is difficult to solve, then come on our board of experts. Our team of qualified and professional people provides all kind of solution of any topic @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 42
  43. 43. Contractor To Essay Mill Site Link http://www.anavasis.gr/ @MyBCU Thank you and welcome to the Site The Student Tuition Anabasis. Briefly provide support Theses all levels and thematic fields Student work within the semester with the possibility to cover the work of all directions Statistical Analysis - Statistical Studies Translations from and into over 50 languages www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 43
  44. 44. Contractor Example Postings The work is your one of our customers who is a student, so it is a student work Abstract: The thesis includes a study of the IEEE 802.11n standard on the operation at the physical level and MAC layer of wireless local area networks ... in MATLAB. The below is a project for one of our customers. The student needs the coding part of his dissertation Dissertaion title : Optimal Investment Planning for Distributed Generation in a Competitive Electricity Market @MyBCU We are an educational company and want the below project for one of our clients During this course, you will develop an information portal on a topic of your choice based on focused crawling technology. www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 44
  45. 45. What Does This Mean For Online Universities? @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 45
  46. 46. “A Quick Trawl” These examples based on a quick 30 minute trawl of common contract cheating sites and essay mills on Thursday 17 October 2013 @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 46
  47. 47. @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 47
  48. 48. B120 – An Introduction to Business Studies @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 48
  49. 49. @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 49
  50. 50. @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 50
  51. 51. http://www.cyberessays.com/lists/open-university-e214-tma/ @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 51 51
  52. 52. Online Universities Frequently found on “contract cheating” sites Examples of multiple (10+) posting by one person Often difficult to find contact details Material found on Brainmass + StudentOfFortune @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 52
  53. 53. Addressing The Challenges For Online And Face-To-Face Universities @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 53
  54. 54. Common Sources The same material is used by several colleges Exercises from text books Online tests associated with text books Open Educational Resources Stock answers likely on Brainmass, Chegg etc Essay spinning reduces Turnitin matches Searches find multiple hits Need to “individualise” assignments @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 54
  55. 55. Further Technology Assistance Needed Putting assignment briefs on Turnitin Helps “detectives” – like Bob Warns academics if stock answers are available May spot assignments on “contract cheating” sites Often small percentages (1%) may be significant Need to be able to recognise names of CC sites in the text Watermark or tag assignment briefs Identify source and student Use modified PDF generator Add feature to VLE (e.g. Moodle) @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 55
  56. 56. The Big Challenge? MOOCs From our experience we expect to find: Multiple hits from Google, which will foil attribution attempts courses with the same names and codes Same common phrases Rise in “bespoke” assignment writers Specialising in particular courses Rise in stock solutions being offered Rise in the use of Essay Spinning Increased difficulties in finding contact information (email) @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 56
  57. 57. Further Resources @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 57
  58. 58. For More Information Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contract_cheating Contract Cheating Special Interest Group (supported by the Higher Education Academy): https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgibin/webadmin?A0=CONTRACTCHEATING Slides Available At: http://www.slideshare.net/ThomasLancaster @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 58
  59. 59. Upcoming Introductory Workshop Contract Cheating Within The Computing Discipline Workshop Workshop provided by Higher Education Academy STEM Funding Thursday 13 March 2014 Birmingham City University http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2013/13_March_Computing_Contract_Birmingham @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 59
  60. 60. Our Contact Details Thomas Lancaster Email: thomas.lancaster@bcu.ac.uk Website: http://thomaslancaster.co.uk Twitter: @DrLancaster Robert Clarke Email: robert.clarke@bcu.ac.uk @MyBCU www.facebook.com/birminghamcityuniversity #contractcheating 60

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