Cut-and-paste might still be popular among students, but the rise of Massive Open Online Courses forced students to come up with new, ingenious ways of cheating. Dr. Bernand Bull, professor of Educational Design and Technology at Concordia University, examined in his educators-targeted MOOC, “Understanding Cheating In Online Courses”, and the many dark aspects of academic cheating.
Google Translate and Plagiarism
Plagiarism software seems ineffective compared to the resourceful strategies cheating students come up with today. In their attempt to achieve better scores or pass difficult courses, many students use essays from other languages, run them through Google Translate and use the translated texts to stitch up their own work. Plagiarism detection software is not yet advanced enough to detect plagiarism that’s cross linguistic— something students take full advantage of.
Were we ready for MOOCs?
We hurried to dismiss any skepticism about MOOCs but apparently, more thought should have been given to its structure, function and purpose. Today, students can pay companies to take a MOOC course on their behalf. They don’t need to log in, or virtually attend a course, because someone else will do it for them for a fee.
MOOC is losing its credibility and physical universities are too slow to react. Quality assurance, rigorous assessment tools and identity verification are parameters that should be implemented for both virtual and conventional settings. Standards should be developed to ensure the quality and sustainability of MOOC. MOOCs make education accessible and affordable, yet the human nature still finds ways to abuse it. Essay milling services, paid course passing, and undetectable plagiarism techniques signify a frustrating tolerance to immorality. A segment of the student population considers education a nuisance when others consider it a privilege and a tool for growth.
This cheating mentality raises issues of work ethic, professional integrity, reliability, and efficiency for both the students and the companies that hire them. While students who resort to cheating are not the majority, this number hasn’t decreased over the years; it simply takes on different forms. You wouldn’t possibly hire someone who got their MBA by paying someone to take it for them. But again, how would you know?