Jack Watson: Addressing Contract Cheating at Scale in Online Computer Science Education

Cheating has always been a problem for academic institutions, but the internet has increased access to a form of academic dishonesty known as contract cheating, or "homework for hire." When students purchase work online and submit it as their own, it cannot be detected by commonly-used plagiarism detection tools, and this troubling form of cheating seems to be increasing.

We present an approach to addressing contract cheating: an AI agent that poses as a contractor to identify students attempting to purchase homework solutions. Our agent, Jack Watson, monitors auction sites, identifies posted homework assignments, and provides students with watermarked solutions that can be automatically identified upon submission of the assignment.

Our work is ongoing, but we have proved the model, identifying nine cases of contract cheating through our techniques. We are continuing to improve Jack Watson and further automate the monitoring and identification of contract cheating on online marketplaces.

Paper: Jack Watson: Addressing Contract Cheating at Scale in Online Computer Science Education ACM Learning@ Scale 2019

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