Upholding high levels of academic integrity standards has always been important for higher education institutions worldwide to protect the reputation of their institution and the credibility of academic degrees. Universities are also under increased scrutiny on how they identify and respond to any academic misconduct when it occurs.
As methods of academic dishonesty become more sophisticated, the higher education sector has been challenged to refine their policy frameworks and digitalize their operations. Academic misconduct and the use of contract cheating services have increased during the pandemic as remote courses and online assignments provided more opportunities for students to cheat. In a report on Houston Public Radio, many Texas universities’ academic dishonesty reports increased in 2020 by as much as 20% from fall 2019.
Broadly defined, contract cheating is described as outsourcing student work to third parties, whether that be through an online, paid service, through a family member or friend, file sharing, paying for exam takers, or online essay mills such as EssayShark. Cheating and it’s associated behavior undermines learning and build distrust between students and their faculty/teacher, and have students graduate with knowledge gaps and learn dishonest behavior. The essay writing industry has become lucrative globally as reported in September 2019 by the New York Times.
To bring increased awareness to this growing concern in higher education, the International Center for Academic Integrity recognizes International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating Day. Recognized annually on October 20th, the day highlights the growing issues surrounding contract cheating and make students aware of academic consequences from contract cheating and what to be made aware of. With Symplicity Advocate, universities can rely on a tool trusted by schools like Macquarie University, Duke University, Boston University, Towson University, and more to guide their student conduct teams through the process of preventing and dealing with issues of academic integrity. Schedule a conversation with our team today to learn more.