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A tier-list of ways to address cheating

Cheating has always been a problem, and it has recently gotten worse: more prevalent, harder to address, and more sophisticated

  • 19.4.2023, 9:00 - 10:00

An online lecture by professor Phill Dawson Wednesday April 19th, 9a.m.-10a.m.

Cheating has always been a problem, and it has recently gotten worse: more prevalent, harder to address, and more sophisticated. Age-old cheating approaches like plagiarism and outsourcing have been supercharged by the Internet and joined by new threats like exam hacking and artificial intelligence. Cheating is a problem that defies simple solutions, a wicked problem, a complex social mess. There are competing, contradictory ‘solutions' to cheating, limited resources to implement them, and a range of ideological, cultural and political forces at play. 

But we can't give up. Yes, cheating is a hard problem, but it's one that matters too. Graduating ethical students who can do what we say they can do is not optional, it's the cornerstone of higher education's social contract. This presentation asks: what approaches are there to address cheating, and how can we compare them? The talk consists of building a ‘tier list' diagram, which is a way to compare or rank things. At least 24 different approaches to addressing cheating will be discussed and ranked in terms of their effectiveness at addressing cheating. The final diagram will be shared, along with a bibliography.


Professor Phillip (Phill) Dawson is the Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE) at Deakin University. Phill has degrees in education, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, and he leads CRADLE's work on cheating, academic integrity and assessment security. This work spans hacking and cheating in online exams, training academics to detect contract cheating, student use of study drugs, the effectiveness of legislation at stopping cheating, and the evaluation of new assessment security technologies. His two latest books are Defending Assessment Security in a Digital World: Preventing E-Cheating and Supporting Academic Integrity in Higher Education (Routledge, 2021) and the co-edited volume Re-imagining University Assessment in a Digital World (Springer, 2020). Phill's work on cheating is part of his broader research into assessment, which includes work on assessment design and feedback. In his spare time Phill performs improv comedy and produces the academia-themed comedy show The Peer Revue.

Twitter: @phillipdawson



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