HEA Contract CheatingSpecial Interest GroupMeetingLed byThomas Lancaster and Robert ClarkeBirmingham City University© Clar...
Meeting Format• Introduce the HEA Contract Cheating SpecialInterest Group and associated resources• Overview contract chea...
Special Interest Group• Initially funded by the HEA, launched at aworkshop at Birmingham City University onFriday 22 June ...
Categories of “Cheating”In assessed coursework we cancharacterise 3 main categories:-Collusioncopying from studentsin same...
Contract Cheating• Contract Cheating occurs when a student usesthe services of a third party to produce assessedwork for t...
What’s Going On Right Now?SIG_Bham 13 6As of 16 April2013, 23:30Found usingsearch “essay”
Who Is Bidding?SIG_Bham 13 7
Who Is Requesting?SIG_Bham 13 8
What Are The Challenges?• Contract cheating happens continually – oftenbehind closed doors• Contract cheating appears to m...
And The Biggest Challenge?• Contract Cheating is original (“work to order”)– not detected by TurnItIn– requires a (labour ...
Some Statistics• The “average student” posts between 4 and 7assignments (March 04 to October 06)• Most common subjects on ...
More About EssayBay• First study of a web-site dedicating to enabling contractcheating– Rentacoder (now vWorker) 85% legit...
Students Aren’t All Getting Caught (By Us)…AssignmentsPostedSourceAttributedStudentIdentified1 in 3 postingsdetected1 in 3...
A New Success? - Assignment Briefs on TurnitinSIG_Bham 13 14Small %ages can besignificantmatches occurs whenstudent paperc...
Outsourcing Web Sites (7 Years)• Freelancer + vWorker– main sites we examine– easy to search– give most details of users– ...
Detection is not enough• No magic bullet– A multi-faceted approach is needed• Fear of detection is the best deterrent– mus...
The future?• More students see “buying” a solution as an option• Staff have less time to design and administerassignments•...
Discussion Areas…• What do you feel that the HEA ContractCheating SIG should be delivering?• What pressing issues, concern...
Upcoming Event• Outsourcing Assignments? Exposing TheThreat Posed By Contract Cheating To TheComputing Industry– Wolverham...
Upcoming Research• Commercial Aspects of Contract Cheating– Analyses the monetary value of contract cheatingto the differe...
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HEA Contract Cheating Special Interest Group Meeting Introduction - HEA STEM Conference - 18 April 2013

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At the 2013 HEA STEM Conference, delegates met to discuss the latest developments in contract cheating as part of a Special Interest Group. These slides were used to introduce the session during a short talk, containing both examples and details of the continued changes within the contract cheating area.

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HEA Contract Cheating Special Interest Group Meeting Introduction - HEA STEM Conference - 18 April 2013

  1. 1. HEA Contract CheatingSpecial Interest GroupMeetingLed byThomas Lancaster and Robert ClarkeBirmingham City University© Clarke & Lancaster 2013SIG_Bham 13 1
  2. 2. Meeting Format• Introduce the HEA Contract Cheating SpecialInterest Group and associated resources• Overview contract cheating and how it isdifferent from plagiarism• Provide some research statistics on contractcheating• Present the latest challenges of contract cheating• Open up to the floor for discussion of issues ofinterest to the SIGSIG_Bham 13 2
  3. 3. Special Interest Group• Initially funded by the HEA, launched at aworkshop at Birmingham City University onFriday 22 June 2012(Resources available)http://www.bcu.ac.uk/tee/events/previous-events/contract-cheating• Communicates mostly through a JISCMaildiscussion list (opportunities for livediscussions are welcome)https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=CONTRACTCHEATINGSIG_Bham 13 3
  4. 4. Categories of “Cheating”In assessed coursework we cancharacterise 3 main categories:-Collusioncopying from studentsin same cohortContractCheatingwork is produced byan external agentPlagiarismcopying from booksor internetSIG_Bham 13 4
  5. 5. Contract Cheating• Contract Cheating occurs when a student usesthe services of a third party to produce assessedwork for them• (Some) examples of how contract cheating isundertaken include:– Online auction sites (Freelancer.com,RentACoder.com)– Friends and family– Online essay mills– Private tutorsSIG_Bham 13 5
  6. 6. What’s Going On Right Now?SIG_Bham 13 6As of 16 April2013, 23:30Found usingsearch “essay”
  7. 7. Who Is Bidding?SIG_Bham 13 7
  8. 8. Who Is Requesting?SIG_Bham 13 8
  9. 9. What Are The Challenges?• Contract cheating happens continually – oftenbehind closed doors• Contract cheating appears to many to be a“victimless crime” – but is it?• Auction site work can be cheap (competitivebid process) and at a high academic levelSIG_Bham 13 9
  10. 10. And The Biggest Challenge?• Contract Cheating is original (“work to order”)– not detected by TurnItIn– requires a (labour intensive) detective role• Projects on auction sites are often only live fora limited time, so any detective success issubject to human limitationsSIG_Bham 13 10
  11. 11. Some Statistics• The “average student” posts between 4 and 7assignments (March 04 to October 06)• Most common subjects on non-Computingsites (EssayBay):– Business and Admin Studies– Social Studies– History and Philosophical Studies– MedicineSIG_Bham 13 11
  12. 12. More About EssayBay• First study of a web-site dedicating to enabling contractcheating– Rentacoder (now vWorker) 85% legitimate work– Site ceased fully functioning in Aug 2010• 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 proposalsSIG_Bham 13 12
  13. 13. Students Aren’t All Getting Caught (By Us)…AssignmentsPostedSourceAttributedStudentIdentified1 in 3 postingsdetected1 in 3attributed1 in 3students found1 in 27cheatersdealt withSIG_Bham 13 13
  14. 14. A New Success? - Assignment Briefs on TurnitinSIG_Bham 13 14Small %ages can besignificantmatches occurs whenstudent papercontains parts ofassignment briefWe recommend that staff uploadassignment briefs to Turnitin as soon asthe assignment is released to students
  15. 15. Outsourcing Web Sites (7 Years)• Freelancer + vWorker– main sites we examine– easy to search– give most details of users– tracking sub-contractors– two sites now merged• Kasamba (Liveperson)– “tutorial” site• Student Of Fortune +Transtutors– sells HW solutions17251032162917211178543264550 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000TRANSTUTORSODESKOTHERKASAMBASCRIPTLANCEESSAYBAYGETACODERVWORKERFREELANCERPostings by source 2005-2012Total of 14,438 detected itemsSIG_Bham 13 15(stats of July 2012)
  16. 16. Detection is not enough• No magic bullet– A multi-faceted approach is needed• Fear of detection is the best deterrent– must improve attribution rate (post assignment specs on Turnitin)– increase use of individualised assignments– watermarking assignment specifications• Increase awareness amongst staff– Common to hear “didn’t know this type of thing happened”– Need to look out for idiosyncratic elements in coursework• Ensure regulations are robust enough– Level of “proof” available not same as for plagiarism– Attempt to cheat (as in an exam) should be an offence• Increase awareness amongst students– Cheating is not a victim-less crime– Problem with a new intake each yearSIG_Bham 13 16
  17. 17. The future?• More students see “buying” a solution as an option• Staff have less time to design and administerassignments• Increased use of on-line/distance learning activities• Increased use of franchising of courses• Increased number of contractors providing solutions• Increased use of Private Tutors outside theclassroom• Difficulty in progressing cases of cheatingSIG_Bham 13 17
  18. 18. Discussion Areas…• What do you feel that the HEA ContractCheating SIG should be delivering?• What pressing issues, concerns and solutionsdo you have for Contract Cheating?• Are you interested in attending more in-depthworkshops on (preventing and detecting)contract cheating?SIG_Bham 13 18
  19. 19. Upcoming Event• Outsourcing Assignments? Exposing TheThreat Posed By Contract Cheating To TheComputing Industry– Wolverhampton Branch, British Computer Society– Wednesday 24 April, 2013, 6:30pm to 8:00pmhttp://www.bcs.org/content/ConWebDoc/50179SIG_Bham 13 19
  20. 20. Upcoming Research• Commercial Aspects of Contract Cheating– Analyses the monetary value of contract cheatingto the different parties involved in the process– ITiCSE 2013, University of Kent– Monday 1 July, 2013 to Wednesday 3 July, 2013http://www.cs.kent.ac.uk/events/iticse2013SIG_Bham 13 20

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