The Cheating Economy and Integrity

  • Date : October 16, 2018 1:00 PM
  • Meeting Type : Webcast

WCET has had an active voice on academic integrity and cheating since 2008. In 2018, academic integrity was threatened by a notable increase in the commercialization of academic dishonesty to include contract cheating and the widespread online distribution by third-party websites of educational materials. These practices by “bad actors” directly harm institutions, faculty, and students. They undermine academic integrity, create risks to cyberinfrastructure and data protection, and violate intellectual property. These attacks manifest in multiple ways. Students may be duped into paying for (or be complicit in actively seeking) “online tutoring” that is in fact the student engaging with a third party to complete some or all of the student’s coursework, typically requiring the student to share login information with the “tutor.” These “tutors” then mine class lists to solicit additional students, or in particularly aggressive cases, threaten other students with retaliation. While institutions can issue legal take-down notices when unauthorized materials are identified, it is nearly impossible to keep up with the scale.

This webinar accomplished the following:

  • Illuminated the growing industry of cheating cartels,
  • Highlighted technological solutions that attempt to counterattack bots searching course content,
  • Shared institutional examples of positive and promising actions your institution can take to bolster a campus culture of integrity – for students, faculty, and administrators alike.

We encourage those who would like to share this webcast to use this citation:

Harrison, D., Lelo, A., McKenzie, A., and WCET. (2018). The Cheating Economy and Integrity. [Video Webinar]. Retrieved from:


Doug Harrison

Associate Dean, Graduate School, University of Maryland University College

Adel Lelo

Senior Principal Product Manager, Western Governors University

Amanda McKenzie

Director, Quality Assurance (Academic Programs), University of Waterloo


Vernon C. Smith

WCET Executive Council, Provost, American Public University System


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