State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Can online cheating be stopped?

Cheating is a serious problem in schools, included colleges.  Although cheating is nothing new, the increased use of online classes creates a larger potential for plagiarism.  By not being present in a classroom with a professor, students have the capability to cheat by using outside resources or by having someone else do their work.

Some internet classes today are equipped with technologic software that studies the behavior of students.  The software detects patterns in typing that will determine if a different person is typing.  The free online site Coursera uses this software to catch users that are cheating. However, being a free service with no accreditation raises the question of what is the wrong doing.  The individual is not receiving a degree of certificate and therefore is merely cheating themselves.

Degree programs, on the other hand, are possibly awarding degrees for work done by another individual. Whether the student cheats due to the pressure to perform well, stress, exhaustion, laziness, or any other reason, the student is breaking the schools policy on plagiarism and ethical code of conduct.  Falsifying their work to receive accreditation can result in a zero on the assignment, suspension, or expulsion, but this often doesn’t stop students.

With the resources, technology, and knowledge available today, plagiarism is doing nothing but holding us back.

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