You may also be interested in...

George D. Gollin, professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, recently discovered that one of his students had posted a copyrighted homework assignment to Course Hero, an online learning platform, and solicited “tutoring help” -- in reality, paying a user located at the University of Nairobi in Kenya to solve the problems. “I don’t know how to do them please help me,” the student wrote. “Please show me the procedures!” The tutor, going by the username qualitywork54, in less than 12 hours returned several handwritten pages of homework solutions. “Hope everything is clear,” the tutor wrote. “In case of any query am here to help. Any more assignments please.” The student didn’t even get his money’s worth. Gollin let his teaching assistants grade the work without informing them of the circumstances. They gave the problem set a 33 on a 100-point scale, well below the average of 88. The case is an example of the headaches caused by websites that offer online study guides and tutoring services, as well as general question-and-answer sites where students sometimes ask for homework help. Professors have been worried about this kind of hand-me-down cheating since the dawn of the test file, but taking those files online has opened new avenues for contract cheating under the guise of student support. Faculty members can take legal action to remove copyrighted materials from the internet, but the tools at their disposal -- such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 -- require them to spend time actively searching for their own intellectual property and request it be taken down. “It’s very hard for us to know how many websites are out there doing this and what fraction of our students use these resources,” Gollin said in an interview. “I found this one just by accident.” In this case, the student’s post appeared in a Google alert that Gollin runs...

Read the full article here