Studying at Deakin in 2020 has been quite different so far. Covid-19 is throwing up many challenges for students including disconnection from on campus life. DUSA Advocates understand these challenges and we are here to assist and support you.
In challenging times when we are feeling anxious, overwhelmed or disconnected from university life, getting all of those university assignments done can be harder. Students may be more likely to make the wrong decision about who to turn to for help.
Life is full of ethical dilemmas. It is through the decisions we make when faced with these dilemmas that we develop our personal and professional ethics over time.
When it comes to completing assessment tasks, for example, all sorts of dilemmas can arise. Every year the Student Advocacy and Support Service runs a campaign to raise student awareness about one of the very important types of academic integrity breaches, ‘Contract Cheating’.
Contract cheating as defined by Deakin, is when you ask someone to do all or part of your assessment task and you pass the work off as your own. It does not have to be a company; it could be a family member or a friend who does the work for you. Payment does not have to happen for it to be Contract Cheating.
Here is a dilemma you could face at some point in your student life. Imagine this:
You are scrolling through Facebook procrastinating about your assignment, which is due in 2 days when an ad pops up. The ad is for a website that provides ‘Assignment Help’. You think to yourself that you could really use this help right now. You click on the link and look through the website and you come across an assignment for the exact same unit you are studying. In order to view the assignment you are required to upload an old assignment of your own. It seems too good to be true and that is because it is!
If you upload an old assignment onto that website then your assignment is now their property and any other student from around the world will have access to your assignment.
Let’s say a unit chair then finds your assignment on this website or another student uses parts of your assignment in their own assignment, these situations can all lead to you getting an allegation of contract cheating. If you were to use parts of the assignment you found as your own, then you may also end up receiving an allegation.
If you find yourself thinking, “should I do this?” or “is this website legitimately helping me?” more often than not, it is not a legitimate website. Do not create a login. Close that webpage!
If you have a question about Academic Integrity which you do not feel comfortable asking anyone directly. You can use our Ask an Advocate form to post an anonymous question. Your question along with a response will be posted on the Academic Integrity webpage within 3 business days.
If you would like to see more information about contract cheating and the other types of academic integrity breaches, head to our Academic Integrity Webpage https://dusa.org.au/academic-integrity.
If you have received an allegation of a breach of academic integrity, please contact SASS for a free confidential appointment with an Advocate https://dusa.org.au/our-services/advocacy-welfare/