Commercial Contract Cheating… 31M Students Say It’s So Easy, It Can’t Be Wrong

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“Contract Cheating”, it’s the latest buzzword in higher education, yet it’s been around a long time. Since the beginning of online academia, we’ve seen this issue rise to epic proportions and it’s only getting worse. This growing epidemic where students recruit third parties to complete their assignments is increasing rapidly and presenting a HUGE threat to academic standards and quality worldwide.

In his book the “Shadow Scholar”, Dave Tomar talks about how he worked as a contract cheater for 10 years without ever being caught. He attended 36 online universities and completed countless graduate and undergraduate courses for an untold number of students. His company was just one of thousands who do contract work for students for a fee.

In 2016 the Chronicle of Higher Education published “The New Cheating Economy”. Not only did this story become one of the most highly commented on in the publication’s history, it also exposed a growing problem that many online colleges and universities continue to battle to this day.

As of this article, the latest report from Frontiers in Education shows that as many as 31 Million students are paying individuals and companies to complete their work. Most of this research speaks to the high level of essays in particular. In addition, Dave Tomars’ work points to other types of cheating involving test taking, quizzes, discussion threads and other gradable assessments that are all easily accessed by sharing of passwords. Have you heard of the re-invented password that stops sharing of credentials with just 4 drawn characters (vs typing) and stops impostors from accessing your accounts or devices?  It is called BioSig-ID. This gesture-based biometric technology also has strong forensics used to catch hired pro’s, or family members who perform work for the student, because we collect and analyze log-in patterns throughout the course. We are getting ready to publish alarming data detailing cheating and dishonesty in higher education. Why are we becoming the number one technology for Higher Education? Consider the following:

  • Q- If you are a student would you attempt to cheat with someone watching you or someone watching a video of you? (i.e.virtual proctoring) A- NO for fear of being caught and expelled
  • Q- If you decide to cheat knowing you can easily give your password to family or hired pro to do your course work without ever getting caught, wouldn’t it be better to cheat this way than being constantly watched via proctoring? A -YES
  • Q- Does your school define the penalties for cheating and are they strict about the policy, going so far as to make you sign a Code of Conduct? A- Maybe, but here is the big concept. If all that separates a student from getting others to do their work is a password, schools can’t say they are taking this issue seriously. “If it’s too easy, it can’t be wrong”. Sharing of passwords is the leading source of cheating. As a student, why would you not act on this if you know the school tolerating this behavior?

Student authentication is one of the areas ALL schools should be attending to and is one of the 4 key management issues for the Dept of Education. Additionally, regional accreditors are now instituting regulations requiring student authentication and tying it back to compliance for accessing Title IV funding… now it becomes your issue.

BioSig-ID’s patented software technology authenticates the student with random ID verification throughout the course.  Only the registered student gains access to any gradable event. Our forensics have caught 1000’s of students cheating because we have the patterns from the total student experience, not just an hour exam that is proctored. We have greatly expanded our dashboard and now offer real-time notifications. Our forensics are one of the reasons we were selected by 64 state and federal agencies to handle their user ID verification.

Please tune in to our next blog as we expand on the following topics:

  • Why is keystroke 27X less effective than BioSig-ID (1 large school found it in-effective to verify identity)
  • Why are security questions only 50% successful
  • 2-Factor (token sent to your smartphone) was discontinued by NIST for lack of security
  • Why are Lockdown browsers not effective at stopping cheating from remote locations or for ID verification

Contract cheating is at an all-time high and its implications are far-reaching. Fortunately, you have the power to ensure your school doesn’t become part of the problem, student id verification is now part of what you need to do for accreditation and compliance with student ID verification. This is our specialty.

The proof is in the pudding. Give us a shout and see why BioSig-ID is the tool you need to maintain accreditation, regain control of the virtual classroom and put an end to contract cheating once and for all!