Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Industrial scale cheating

From the Canberra Times

The Australian National University has launched an investigation into an essay farm selling completed assignments to Chinese students in Canberra.
Concerns about the cheating service were raised by former students who believed someone within the university community was exploiting international students for profit.
ANU deputy vice-chancellor, professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, said any student caught using the service would face disciplinary action and possible expulsion.
The company, Assignment King, advertises its services in Mandarin on a community website and promises to deliver original assignments that cannot be detected by anti-plagiarism software.
The service claims to have 250 writers who have graduated from top Australian universities, including The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney and The University of Queensland.
Last year, 51 ANU students faced disciplinary action after being caught cheating, plagiarising or using a service similar to Assignment King.
"Students thinking of using these websites should think twice," professor Hughes-Warrington said.
"Those who get caught cheating risk disciplinary action, the most serious of which is expulsion from the university. It just isn't worth the risk."
The professor said only a tiny minority of 20,000 enrolled students at the ANU were caught cheating or deliberately plagiarising.
"We are proud of the quality of our students who work hard to get into ANU and to graduate," she said.
Last year, a Fairfax Media investigation revealed thousands of university students were paying up to $1000 for assignments completed by the Sydney-based company MyMaster, which has since closed.
MyMaster produced thousands of university assignments and earned hundreds of thousands of dollars after launching in May 2012.
In 2014, the University of Canberra investigated 420 reports of plagiarism with 391 cases confirmed.
Those caught cheating failed the subject and were expelled on second offence.
The university responded to 173 cases of academic misconduct a year earlier, with the majority of cases involving plagiarism.
The University of Canberra uses the Urkund anti-plagiarism program to search for similarities in published work online and assignments submitted by other students.
ANU uses the more popular Turnitin program, which also used by the University of Melbourne and other group of eight universities.
The Canberra contact for Assignment King declined to comment on this story.

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