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ERIC Number: EJ1180649
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1833-2595
Can We Detect Contract Cheating Using Existing Assessment Data? Applying Crime Prevention Theory to an Academic Integrity Issue
Clare, Joseph; Walker, Sonia; Hobson, Julia
International Journal for Educational Integrity, v13 Article 4 2017
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.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A