Increased access to online courses has led a rise in paid services which will impersonate student and do their work.
I was an avid cheater in high school. I mean, all the times. I can still recall writing formulas for chemistry on little bits of paper and sealing them with transparent tape to the bottoms my dress shoes. I could see the information I needed as soon as I crossed my legs.
It was before the Internet revolutionized education. It seems that cheating has become an accepted part of the internet. Today, freelancers and entrepreneurs openly advertise services to help students cheat their online educations. These digital cheaters can even assume students’ identities to take online classes.
I reached out to No Need to Study to find out if they could offer me an online English Literature Class at Columbia University. I received an email from its customer-relations department, who advised me that it was possible for the company to get a ringer in order to take my online course and that it could guarantee I earn a minimum of a B. The fee for such an arrangement was $1225.15.
I asked for more information to ensure I understood all the company’s services. They replied, “We offer the service of a pool academic tutors to teach classes and complete coursework for our customers.”
No Need to Study even includes reference videos showing satisfied customers describing how easy it was to pay another person to take their online classes. Muhammad, a client of No Need to Study, shares his story about how he hired the company as a tutor to teach him math lab. He notes that he’d previously taken these classes but that “the quizzes weren’t too hard” so he started looking for a solution. He said, “They got the job done, and did really. really well.” “They completely destroyed my final math and application classes with a 91 percent. And I can assure you, I have never been able to get a 91 percent on anything.”
There’s no direct link between online education and online cheating. More online classes equals more cheating students. The 2014 Online Learning Survey revealed that almost 33% of all higher education enrollments are now online. There are nearly 7,000,000 students who have taken at minimum one online course. Others put it at a lower number, with only a fourth percent of total student populations. That’s a lot of potential customers, for those who are looking to offer cheating services.
Online education is already expected to be a $100 million global industry. This number could rise if online education is more popular, particularly with employers. Online certifications and degrees could have the same standing as traditional ones on campus. The online education marketplace can transform higher education and redefine college. That is exactly what some advocates for online education want. Kevin Carey (an online-education supporter) wrote in March, “Here’s What Will Truly Modify Higher Education: Official Online Degrees.”
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