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EXCLUSIVE: Adelaide Cheating Scandal Exposed

A Mix 1023 investigation has uncovered an online university cheating ring. Students have been caught soliciting others to complete assignments for them on app Airtasker. The app allows users to post tasks online that they would like others to complete for payment. They range from cleaning houses to collecting McDoanlds.

One Adelaide user recently paid another user $40 to complete two written pieces. She demanded the work have “no grammar mistakes and written in a clear logical order.”

“I need two questions answered. Both answers must be between 350-450 words,“ she wrote. 

"Before answering a question there is a slideshow to watch, a TED online talk to watch and a few pages’ background info on the topic,” she continued.

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Source: Airtasker

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Source: Airtasker

Gumtree is another platform favoured by university students looking to cheat. A number of businesses have popped up offering their services. One ad offers to research and write simple or complicated essays, presentations with keynotes and even dissertation papers.

They claim their writes are ‘academic geniuses’ with at least a Masters or PHD in their relevant field. The ad claims they can assist with Medical, Nursing, Business Law, Criminal Law, Psychology and more.

“Our motto is to provide you an exceptional, quality paper within your deadline. We provide plagiarism checks (so you are guaranteed original work) and revisions till you are satisfied” says the add.

It’s unclear how much each service costs as individual quotes are provided.

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Source: Gumtree

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Source: Gumtree

The University of South Australia told Mix 1023 several students have already been suspended for using third parties to complete their assignments over the last few months.  

 “The rapid development of technology means that educational institutions, including universities, need to be on top of these matter,” said Professor Tracey Bretag who is the Director of Academic Integrity at Unisa.  

Professor Bretag is leading a national research project addressing the issue to determine the extent of the problem and what appropriate action should be taken.

She said early research revealed the problem is global and is not limited to universities. She believes training and fostering a culture of integrity on campus is just one of many possible solutions to the problem.

MLC John Darley said he's concerned with what the students in question will do once they enter the workforce and the lack of skills they will possess.

“They have cheated themselves,” he told Mix 1023.

“The rapid development of technology means that educational institutions, including universities, need to be on top of these matters.”

 

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