Interinstitutional perspectives on contract cheating: a qualitative narrative exploration from Canada

International Journal for Educational Integrity 15 (1) (2019)
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Abstract

This paper explores contract cheating from the perspectives of researchers at three post-secondary institutions in Alberta, Canada, describing their efforts to develop and advance awareness of, interventions against, and responses to contract cheating at their respective institutions. Contract cheating is when a third party produces or completes academic work for a student, and the student then presents the work as their own. The student might have personal connections to the third party, or the student might pay a fee and outsource the academic work to the third party. All three institutions are experiencing an increase in the incidence of contract cheating, which is consistent with trends at colleges and universities across Canada and the world. Contract cheating is not a new phenomenon, but it is a growing one, due in part to students having access to thousands of online companies offering to help them with their academic work. This paper examines personal narratives from four researchers and identifies five key themes: types of contract cheating, students, awareness, evidence and policy implications, and educational development.

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