Contract cheating and new forms of plagiarism
4pm - 5pm | 4 Jun 2019

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Recent media coverage could lead us to believe that there has been exponential growth in the use of ‘contract cheating’ websites by students. These services provide bespoke assignments for students – for a fee – in as little as a few hours. Contract cheating websites often claim that this type of academic dishonesty is undetectable, and aside from instances where students are careless or stupid there is evidence that routine marking does not detect contract cheating.

However, contract cheating is but one of a number of new threats to academic integrity enabled or supported by new technologies. These range from paraphrasing tools that make it easier to plagiarise text from sources, through to approaches that leverage artificial intelligence.  This presentation provides an overview of what is known about these new threats and what can be done to address them.

Phillip (Phill) Dawson is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE) at Deakin University. He holds degrees in education, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Phill leads CRADLE’s research agenda on academic integrity, with a focus on experimental studies and new technologies. Phill has published some of the first experimental studies on contract cheating detection and computer-based exam hacking. He is currently engaged in research on different approaches to detect and deter contract cheating, including assessment designs and technologies.