Contract cheating: containing it on campus not in the courts

Laws against essays mills can’t be easily enforced – which means preventing it is up to universities

Identifying providers, digital delivery and jurisdiction for prosecution make contract cheating hard to stop, Alexander Amigud from the Centre for the Study of Social Processes, in Toronto and Phillip Dawson (Deakin U)  argue in a new essay.

“The proponents of prohibition fail to demonstrate the effectiveness of their proposed approach or discuss how they plan to address the issues of detection, enforcement, penalties, extraterritoriality, and criminalisation of academic activities,” they suggest.

It is, then, up to universities; “it is the responsibility of academic institutions to maintain a system of checks and balances and ensure that their internal processes are working as expected. We see the call for criminalisation, which largely comes from academics themselves, as a sign academia thinks it has lost control over teaching and learning. The threat of policing, fines and imprisonment shifts academic integrity into being a legal matter.”

Academia needs to take responsibility to ensure learners are learning and do their own assessments,” they warn.


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