Contract Cheating Lands Close to Home
In late 2020, an instructor at a Canadian university received an email from a concerned student about contract cheating (i.e., a student submitting someone else's work for credit) in her class. As the instructor read the email, many questions without obvious answers came to mind. She wondered what her professional and personal responsibilities were in dealing with the issues raised in the student's email. In particular, she was trying to come to grips with her responsibilities to her students, her colleagues, the program she taught in, and the university and society in general. She also wondered what she could do to make this type of cheating less prevalent and how she could better detect and discourage it. How could she and her colleagues support students to prevent them from seeking help from these types of companies, which promoted cheating under the premise of tutoring? Upon further considering the issues, the instructor wondered about potential risks to herself, her students, and the university that might result from various possible courses of action. She decided that, at the very least, she would talk to her students about contract cheating at the start of her next class, but she was not sure what she would say. Eric Gedajlovic is affiliated with Simon Fraser University. Kathleen Burke is affiliated with Simon Fraser University. Andrew Flostrand is affiliated with Simon Fraser University.