Cheating: an arms race between students and faculty

In Cheating on online exams I speculated that students might use any of many synchronous communication channels to cheat during a synchronously delivered online exam (I am assuming the typical multiple choice timed exams.) Then today I found It’s not plagiarism it’s an easy essay where the Custom Writing folks purport to offer essays that will not be detected by TurnItIn.com.

So, there are two aspects to this cheating arms race. One is recognizing that interactions among technologies lead to new unexpected exploits, the other is the more traditional development of a better offense to overcome a better defense.

Rather than dispair, perhaps we need to turn to ideas of open source assessment where the activity and the assessment are both more authentic. The wrinkle to this thought is Custom Writing is offering to create Theses and Dissertations which ought to be more authentic tasks than the typical college essay assignment.

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