In some countries, teaching is a prestigious, well-paid job. In other corners of the globe, however, teaching is more of a heroic act than a professional occupation. With that said, most people agree that teaching is a demanding and complicated career that requires countless hours of classroom management, grading, and continuing educating on top of being a mentor and role model. What all educators need is practical help with routine tasks and a fresh approach to student-teacher relations. Fortunately, modern technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) can help.
Cheating as a Stumbling Block Between Educators and Students
Academic dishonesty is a disturbing phenomenon teachers would just love to never have to deal with at all. A recent survey claims that 95% of students cheat or plagiarize in the UK and the US alone. The figures are horrible but unsurprising. With ubiquitous Internet access and advanced technologies, students today have many more ways to be academically dishonest than the students of previous generations.
There are various forms of cheating and plenty of factors that make students cheat. Contract cheating is one of its worst manifestations, as essay mills make cheating detection very tricky.
It’s never a good call to attempt to pass off someone else’s efforts as your own:
- A student who cheats chooses a misleading approach to the educational process. Teachers should point out to them that confident people with a due level of preparation don’t need to cheat. Cheating always does more harm than good, and gives an altered perception of reality where everything can be bought and sold.
- Cheating is unethical, especially with respect to the more diligent students in class. Their hard work can be underrated or unrewarded if a teacher accepts cheating or it goes unnoticed.
- Cheating is offensive to teachers. It devalues their work and efforts. Moreover, it compromises the educational system by making grades meaningless.
Ways to Tackle Cheating
The era of digital possibilities provides an array of opportunities to ask for contract cheating. It means that educators need inventive and effective methods to counteract. Many institutions have already adopted academic honesty policies and specified academic integrity requirements. In 2018, the UK education sector officials requested legislation that would impose a ban on essay mills. Such draft legislation has been adjusted in Ireland and Australia to pose penalties on providing these services.
What else can teachers do to fight academic dishonesty? Here are some ideas:
- Give creative tasks and projects. Creativity and plagiarism are mutually exclusive notions. The more creative efforts a particular task requires, the more complicated it is to copy/paste or delegate. Moreover, not every service would take a task that requires thinking outside of the box. It’s an expensive and time-consuming order.
- Give group tasks. Contract cheating is less frequent in groups. Students’ perception of peer behavior is a powerful factor that can influence the positive performance of students. Teachers can try to assemble groups of diligent students such that those who seem inclined to cheating can take a page from them.
- Explore novel topics. Through trailblazing a particular task, students may feel more interested and encouraged by the responsibility teachers hand over to them. On top of that, unpopular topics may lack research information, so students have no other option but to do their job properly.
- Use plagiarism-checking tools. Luckily, educators don’t hesitate to invest in anti-plagiarism software. It’s one of the most effective and rational ways to detect, fight, and prevent contract cheating. This is especially true when the plagiarism-checking tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) come into play. The use of AI technologies in both K-12 and higher education sectors of the US will increase by 47.77% percent by 2022. Educators place trust on this technology since there are cases of contract cheating using essay mills when only AI-powered tools can make a difference.
AI-Enabled Breakthrough in Contract Cheating Detection Developed by Unicheck
Teachers should see machine learning and artificial intelligence as helpful assistants. People cannot make out all plagiarism indicators, but AI algorithms can. Inconsistencies in writing, style discrepancies, or similarities as well as language ambiguity are the criteria to check. AI-powered plagiarism checkers study the length of words and sentences, their structures as well as the choice of words. Based on this analysis, the anti-plagiarism software promptly returns results educators can rely on.
Unicheck has developed a solution just like this. Meet the AI-based authorship verification helper, “Emma.” Emma does not require text databases to identify authorship and fight contract cheating. Instead, it evaluates up to 50 different parameters to catch the unique style of the author. The stylometry technique works smoothly in detecting cheating, especially when supported by natural language processing (NLP).
To learn the writing style, Emma needs no more than three pieces of original work written by a student. Only 300-1,000 words per each text are required, and once the text is analyzed, teachers will no longer question the efforts of a particular student. Since Emma works quickly, it saves teachers, who usually work 11 hours overtime per week, precious time.
Students Improve Their Progress Thanks to Unicheck
Over 1,000 universities, colleges, and school districts worldwide place their trust in the Unicheck plagiarism checker powered by the Emma verification service. It means that not only teachers but students too can feel the benefits of using an advanced tool like this. First, they need to understand that teachers use plagiarism checkers not to punish their students. What teachers wish to achieve is to motivate and encourage them.
It’s a shame “businesses” like essay mills are still taking advantage of students’ weaknesses. That’s why using sophisticated tools like Emma can make a huge leap in fighting against them. Sooner or later, teachers find out about cheating, so students should stop throwing money away on shady solutions and concentrate on studying diligently.
The Bottom Line
Artificial intelligence is the missing link in the education system that can actually prevent contract cheating. Technologies have finally caught up with our aspirations with plagiarism checkers for students like Unicheck. Both parties benefit from its use: students will feel a positive impact on their knowledge and confidence, while teachers will rest assured that no act of academic dishonesty is flying under the radar. Neither contract cheating, nor plagiarism can compromise the true educational values of fairness and diligence.