Catalog Home Page

Can we detect contract cheating using existing assessment data? Applying crime prevention theory to an academic integrity issue

Clare, J., Walker, S. and Hobson, J. (2017) Can we detect contract cheating using existing assessment data? Applying crime prevention theory to an academic integrity issue. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 13 (1).

[img]
Preview
PDF - Published Version
Download (1MB) | Preview
Free to read: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40979-017-0015-4
*No subscription required

Abstract

Objectives
Building on what is known about the non-random nature of crime problems and the explanatory capacity of opportunity theories of crime, this study explores the utility of using existing university administrative data to detect unusual patterns of performance consistent with a student having engaged in contract cheating (paying a third-party to produce unsupervised work on their behalf).

Methods
Results from an Australian university were analysed (N = 3798 results, N = 1459 students). Performances on unsupervised and supervised assessment items were converted to percentages and percentage point differences analysed at the academic discipline-, unit-, and student-level, looking for non-random patterns of unusually large differences.

Results
Non-random, unusual patterns, consistent with contract cheating, were found at the academic discipline-, unit-, and student-level, with approximately 2.1% of students producing multiple unusual patterns.

Conclusions
These findings suggest it may be possible to use existing administrative data to identify assessment items that provide suitable opportunities for contract cheating. This approach could be used in conjunction with targeted problem-prevention strategies (based on situational crime prevention) to reduce the vulnerability of academic assessment items to contract cheating. This approach is worthy of additional research as it has the potential to help academic institutions around the world manage contract cheating; a problem that currently threatens the validity and integrity of tertiary qualifications.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Publisher: University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes Campus
Copyright: © 2017 The Author(s).
UNSD Goals: Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/39745
Item Control Page Item Control Page

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year