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Contract Cheating at University: Literature Review Assignment Solutions

June 20, 2017
Author : Kristy

Solution Code: 1JJHG

Question: Literature Review

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Literature Review Assignment

Goal of the assignment:

A postgraduate student has to be able to critically review literature, They have search for articles related to a particular problem themselves and critically review the literature, Most students find the easiest way to this is look at what has been done and think of what new research can be done, for example what factors have not been considered or if there different articles disagree how would you work out which article is correct. Follow the instructions given below and make sure you propose new research in the assignment you will have to refer to this new research in the exam. Some literature reviews are much more difficult for example they discuss why all the previous research is wrong, However most students find this difficult , I strongly suggest you if you want to argue that a journal article is totally wrong

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Solution:Literature Review

Literature Review on Contract cheating at University

Executive Summary

The discussion presented here focuses on literature review on university contract cheating among students. It begins by examining of plagiarism in general and contract cheating at university in particular. The main point of reference is on universities in Australia which have been reported in allegation made by Fairfax media and this was verified by independent investigating agency, Tertiary Education Quality and Standard Agency. The review is organized into five chapters which are introduction, plagiarism and contract cheating form chapter two, chapter three deals with critical review whereas in chapter four findings and recommendations are discussed. And finally, chapter five highlights on conclusion.


One of the key mandates of the institutions of higher learning is to generate new knowledge through extensive research by both students and academic staff .All over the world,institution of higher learning are highly regarded as the environment which create more opportunities for developing, discovery and innovation of ideas which are key to the development of any economy in the world. In order to enhance growth of knowledge, authenticity in students research work is a prerequisite condition which must be encouraged in all the institutions of higher learning (Waycott et al 2010). However, even though most of the institutions of higher learning advocate for strong academic values like honesty, integrity, self discipline, among many other which ensures that students remain focused in their academic endeavors, there have been remarkable increased in elements of plagiarism among students pursuing various disciplines. Incidences of plagiarisms have been further fueled by the availability of communication technology, which indeed makes students to resort to unethical practices in completing their classroom assignments. The stiff competition to attracts students join the institutions of higher learning has created a loop hole in such a way that students would prefer enrolling in the institutions where they are likely to graduate within a given time frame irrespective of the processes students are required to undergo before awarded quality certificates. Lack of proper scrutiny to university teachings and methods of assessments have compromised the quality of assignments that students are submitting for evaluation. Failure to embrace technology, Inadequate staff who also lack relevant expertise in detecting students who cheat in their exams have adversely promoted plagiarisms in the institutions of higher learning (Hamlin et al 2013).

Plagiarism at University

Oftentimes, students at universities are regularly required to conduct research and compile academic papers for marking as part of the university academic requirement in most of the institutions of higher learning (Christensen, Cote, & Latham, 2010.Nearly all the courses students pursue would always have students examines both at summative and formative levels. However, during formative assessments, whereby in most cases students are assigned tasks to go and research on, they often don’t reflect critical thinking as expected in the higher institutions of

learning. Regularly, when students refer to scholarly materials, they don’t fully appreciate the source of the contents thus producing assignment for marking which are in the real sense are not their original ideas. Inability to critically read a text and internalize the content has become the norm among many students at university. Some Students at university do not have relevant competency in writing quality research papers which can make them earn good grades. Such students would always copy and paste assignments without necessarily getting worried whether academically it is ethical to engage in such practices (Park, Park & Jang 2013). There are quite a number of factors which make Students to plagiarize. These factors are linked to poor students’ preparation in terms of their academic background. For instance, the transition period between higher school and institutions of higher learning is very crucial in gauging students’ ability to adapt to academic demands of university education (Hamlin et al 2013.) However, students who are not adequately prepared at lower would definitely have difficulties in doing quality research work at the university thus would resort to plagiarized most of the tasks they are assigned do to.

It is therefore possible for large number of students compromise their academic work by submitting assignments which are largely plagiarized. Though communication technology makes learning relatively simple, it has consequently sparked incidences of plagiarism among many students. Through communication technology, students get readily summarized version of a book, an article and any other academic reference materials, which usually are accessible in various online platforms available (Waycott et al 2010).

The availability of summarized reference materials in online platforms without the consent of the author makes some students to use such materials without fully acknowledging the owner. Evidently, some of the reference materials availed in website are not adequately reviewed as they should be, therefore students who refer to them get insufficient information. But still, such students due to the fact that they lack critical studying skills, would be tempted to copy paste the exact information. Students who do not find it awkward in presenting plagiarized work, would with time, develop tendency of massive cheating in all examinations administered at the university (Hamlin et al 2013).

Occasionally, both instructors and institutions of higher learning find themselves in a state of academic dilemma. This happens because of two reasons: First, the government expects student to accomplish their studies with high rate of success and therefore university academic staff are under pressure to ensure that student pass well in their examination. Second, the same government insists that quality education must be maintained at the institutions of higher learning (Park, Park & Jang 2013). The implication of this is that both the institution of higher learning and academic fraternity must find better ways of addressing these demands to provide quality education. However, some students because of this state of dilemma in the institutions of higher learning penetrate the system through cheating in their assignment. As highlighted in the preceding discussion above, students who regularly refer to other peoples work without dully acknowledging the source, with time would probably develop various forms of cheating in their assignments. (Hamlin et al 2013)

Evidence of Contract Cheating at University

The report presented on 12 th of November 2014 by Fairfax media, concerning evidence of students cheating in some of the Universities in Australia, both public and private institutions truly proves beyond any reasonable doubt that some students widely cheat in their assignment(TEQSA n.d).The allegations indicated in the report were indeed confirmed by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standard Agency, which upon narrowing its investigation to the affected institutions, found out that fifteen public universities and two private institutions had their students mentions in the report to must have engaged in academic malpractices which are not acceptable completely as far as quality education is concerned .The investigating agency under the ministry of education and training further observed the exact organization which facilitates contract cheating in university students. MyMaster website was singled out and how it conducted activities across various universities in Australia was clearly established.

Forms of Contract Cheatings among University Students

There are several forms of contract cheating at the university by students which is typically propagated through MyMaster website. These include contracting experts to write students assignments at a given fee, issuing students with already presented assignment which had been initially presented by some former students who scored high grades, rote academic coaching to students on certain tasks they are required to defend orally (Hamlin et al 2013).Most of the times, when students are assigned some take away tasks to research on , some students usually approach organizations like MyMaster website in order to contract an expert in that field to do assignment for such students. Contrary to the student’s expectation, such expert may have limited knowledge to produce quality assignment but despite that, such student presents the assignment to the instructor for marking without even evaluating what has been written by that expert, thus may lead to student getting decimal grade therefore failing to qualify properly in their overall grade. Again, when such student is assessed through summative evaluation under

close supervision by the instructor, then it would be evidently clear that the students had not adequately prepared well for the examination (Singh, Mangalaraj, & Taneja, 2011).

Likewise some students would present assignment which already had been submitted before for awarding of grades. The practice is well coordinated through organization like MyMaster website, which source for top students to give them their already marked assignment and pay them at certain cost (TEQSA n.d). Because such assignment had attracted high marks, it would possible for subsequent students to assume that by presenting same assignment for marking, they would similarly get good grade out of it. However, this is not what academic excellence is because for a student to claim superiority in his or her ability to write quality assignment, then his or her academic integrity must be beyond reproach .Students who observes academic integrity would not tolerate such ill practices because their conscious are clear and cannot compromise their values. It would be noted clearly that such student was coached by an expert and therefore the students does not understand the concept in depth as expected hence just fumbling over it (Hamlin et al 2013).

Factors Contributing to Contract Cheating Among Students at University

There are quite a number of factors which facilitate contract teaching at university. Some of these factors relate to students individual characteristics while others are promoted through institutions of higher learning. Students related factors include lack of strong academic values, communication technology, inadequate lesson attendance, entry behavior and finally lack of appropriate study skills. On the other hand, institutions related factors encompass but not limited to lack of strong academic policies to promote academic excellence, culture of an institution, poor curriculum design, and inadequate resources in the institutions (Christensen, Cote, & Latham, 2010).

Students Related Factors

Students related factors contribute to cheating at university. For instance, students who lack strong academic values such as honesty, integrity and strive for nothing else but excellence are bound to use any means to achieve their end goals of passing examination regardless of what others would perceive of them. Similarly, through advance communication and technology, students are able to access large amount of data within the shortest time available thus can easily collude with experts to have their assignments tackled (Waycott et al 2010). Consequently, through communication and technology some students share their assignments with fellow and would probably allow fellow students to copy paste such assignment with little alteration only on some words to make it appears that the assignment has not been shared. In instances where instructors are few compared to the number of students they are supervising, it is quite challenging to detect such contract cheating (Waycott et al 2010). Students with very low entry qualifications in a particular program are also less likely to compete favorable compared to other students with strong academic background. This would result to one group of students contracting others to do them assignment or resort some website which offer such unscrupulous contract cheating services to weak students who probably would have taken through some kind of orientation programs to prepare them adequately (Park, Park & Jang 2013).

Institutions Related Factors

Not all institutions have students engaging in contracting cheating. Nevertheless some of the institutions which have been observed to have cases of students involved in contract cheating have in one way or the other permitted the practice. For instance, institutions which lack outstanding academic policies which guide students and academic staff to always reflect the roles of universities and other institutions of higher learning are prone to tolerate contract cheating (Park, Park & Jang 2013). Quality research work should be one of the policies that direct entire university fraternity in realizing its mandates. Similarly, culture of the learning institutions can also play a significant role in enhancing contract cheating among university students. if a university has a culture of thoroughly assessing students and ensuring that grades awarded to students honestly portray students ability, then students would minimize contract cheatings in their examination. Poor curriculum design and inadequate personnel may also compel students to engage in academic malpractices. When students lack competitive instructors who can guide students properly oh how to construct knowledge, students are likely to source for other experts who would write them assignment (Brennan 2012)

Critical Review

Plagiarism and in particular contract cheating has contributed to decline in quality of education students receive at the institutions of higher learning. Students who often engage in contract cheating would eventually have difficulties when they come out of university. This is because high grades reflected in their transcripts does not conform to what they are actually doing when they are in the field (Hayes Hurtt, & Bee 2011).Employers frequently find a mismatch between students’ grades and work related skills as well as capabilities. For instance

intelligent students are expected to demonstrate their ability to solve work related problems efficiently without any doubt. All these problems can be avoided if students are made to understand that university education is not just about passing exams but acquiring relevant skills that would be useful to them throughout their lifetime which goes beyond university education. Until students are inducted to realize the true value of education, it would be challenging to do away with contract cheating .Nevertheless some mechanisms have to be put in place to minimize

contract cheating. All the stakeholders: employers, government, Universities and private providers must come on board to collectively address the menace (Waycott et al 2010).

Finding and Recommendations

The current trend in among some university students in different institutions is that contract cheating is increasing taking place. Students who are assessed through essays are highly affected. Even though media reports point out clearly that cases of some students engaging in contract cheating are real, which has also been confirmed by the relevant investigating agencies, there are key issues which urgently need to be rectified to eliminate incidences of contract cheating among university students (Brennan 2012).Commercialization of university education

needs to be completely abolished. Universities should incorporate appropriate software which can detect any kind of contract cheating and again students should be evaluated through workshop and seminars in which presentation skills would equally carry equal grades just like summative evaluation. Finally, instructors capacity to supervise students adequately should be boosted by ensuring that students work are examine through a team of panel within the faculty (Hayes Hurtt, & Bee 2011).


Plagiarism in general is affecting the quality of university education. Students who engage in plagiarism become less critical thinker and with time would develop other bad habits related to plagiarism (Hamlin et al 2013). Students who lack the ability to acknowledge other peoples work when they indeed utilized such material in completing assignments would eventfully engage in contract cheating .However, from the initial stages when students join institutions of higher learning, academic integrity should be inculcated throughout their life in order to acquire desirable learning culture. This perhaps can minimize cases of contract cheating. Likewise heavy penalties should be given to students who engage in unethical academic practices. This would serve as a warning to other students who may intend to engage in contract cheating.

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