Here is a short video introduction to why contract cheating is a problem (it only last 1 minute and 39 seconds).
The video uses some of the recommendations from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) report on contract cheating, released in October 2017. I was part of the team steering the report and have been speaking about it in media interviews. It’s great to see the national push asking universities to address this form of academic misconduct.
What I don’t do in the video is define contract cheating or go into a lot of detail about it. I deliberately wanted to keep this one short and shareable.
The video looks at why contract cheating is an issue, some recent numbers about the extent of contract cheating (the source in the video says that 7% of students have contract cheated at least once) and to look at solutions, particularly regarding the movement to work with students and promote academic integrity.
The RESCON talk was given a short time slot and hence delivered at a hectic pace. I tend to provide rather more material of interest than is strictly necessary. As is usual with these things, recording the video allowed me to explore and discuss the findings from this small research study.
I do have plenty more material available relating to Professional Online Presences, including plenty of motivational examples and details of good practice. I’m always happy to share these as part of research seminars and training suitable for both students and staff looking to improve how well they are perceived online.
I’ve previously shared my work on integrating student Professional Online Presences into teaching at various conferences and invited talks, but it’s a couple of years since I’ve provided a research update.
The ideas are now much more accepted and mainstream when they were when I first started working in the field. Many students realise that their digital information is now available to the public and to employers – although that does not mean that they are taking responsibility for the information that is posted about them.
I’ve recently started adding an element of peer review to assess and improve the Professional Online Presences that students are producing. I used Birmingham City University RESCON 2015 to showcase a few of my favourite initial findings (although many more are available and there is further analysis that I would like to undertake before forming this into a formal academic paper).
Unsurprisingly, it’s dominated by my current place of work, but it’s certainly interesting to see the different links between the people I know from different aspects of my career.
In particular, there’s a group of other academics not directly connected through any of my workplaces, but all of whom seem to know one another. That just demonstrates the value of contacts made through groups such as the Higher Education Academy.