Contract Cheating is something the academic arena should be wary of

With Covid-19 opening up a marketplace for contract cheating, ghost-writing and ghost-studying arrive to thwart academics

The advent of the coronavirus has no doubt brought in a slew of changes in the way people have been going about doing their jobs and living their lives. Among the many good things such as personal hygiene, less polluting habits and the like that have been ushered in, there have also been many unwelcome things also that have sneaked into the world’s stage.

One such phenomenon is what researchers call ‘Contract Cheating’. If you are wondering what that means, it is what students do to complete their assessments. Students have been seen as paying for a third party to complete their assessments, and this has thrown up a major challenge to the global academic community.

Ghost-writing to ghost-studying, Contract Cheating works many ways

At a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has been raging, students have managed to move from ghost-writing to ghost-studying! Researchers at Charles Darwin University decided to probe into this students’ behaviour by looking deeper into how extensively has contract cheating manoeuvred its way into the global academic scenario during the pandemic period.

Dr Jon Mason, Associate Professor in Education, and Dr Guzyal Hill, Senior Business Law Lecturer, at Charles Darwin University brought forth a research paper that delved deep into the extent as well as the impact of Contract Cheating.

In order to investigate the manner in which this was being done, one of the researchers decided to go undercover a student and looked out for web-based services from global contract cheating providers. The result was worth studying. The researchers analysed a few popular providers and how the scope of contract cheating services had made it easier for students.

Google Search returns over 300 mn service providers

The study also involved a Google search of the term ‘assignment help’, which brought forth to the table results numbering over 300 million results during 2021. They also found that students were tempted to cheat the online system while learning digitally, said a PhysOrg report detailing the study.

During the course of their study, the researchers also looked to alert lecturers and universities about this practice that was being done on a global scale.

It was found that the pandemic situation had brought with it a variety of new services. They included services in the areas of formal education, online learning and more. The sad part is that many new players who had a deviant mindset were also in the fray looking to make a quick buck. Contract Cheating was one such.

The service providers had also offered students plagiarism-free assignments done by ghostwriters. While universities had depended on plagiarism checking software, the Contract Cheating service providers went one step ahead and created smarter software that outsmarted the traditional ones.

With Contract Cheating now having sneaked in, it would need a consolidated effort from universities across the globe to mitigate all the issues these people behind dark screens bring into academics.

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