In Week Five of Understanding Cheating in Online Courses, we are investigating the methods used to cheat in online courses. One of the recommended readings is an article on Inside Higher Ed, written by Alexandra Tilsley, September 21, 2012, called “Paying for an A.” Out of curiosity, I checked out the websites mentioned in the article, looking for the answers to two questions. (1) Do they address the question of cheating, and if so, how do they justify what they are doing? (2) Who do they employ?
A couple of the sites mention cheating in the FAQs. BoostMyGrades.com encourages potential clients to check honor codes at their schools. They claim they can be considered “a supplement to your own studies and work.” I wonder if this eases the consciences of the employees. WeTakeYourClass.com claims to merely be helping by providing answers; submitting those answers is the student’s choice.
As a perpetual student who often wishes I could take classes for a living, I wanted to know more about who these sites employ. (No, I’m not seriously considering employment with a site like this! I wouldn’t want to damage my own reputation as an ethical person and an academic by working for such a business.) However, I was curious…
NoNeedtoStudy.com is hiring! They advertise for undergraduate students and college graduates with GPAs of 3.7 or higher. They give preference to students from prestigious colleges, presumably by being flexible about the GPA. They also advertise for graduate students with any GPA. Applicants must provide copies of transcripts and ID.
I was amused to see typos and grammar mistakes on these websites. For example, NoNeedtoStudy.com’s employment application form requests information about your “Exucation Background.” WeTakeYourClass.com states: “Once we release the answers, its up to you to submit those answers.” Classic its / it’s grammar mistake. Grammar and spelling mistakes on a website could lead the reader to several conclusions. The authors of the websites might not be very detail-oriented. They might not proofread their work, including the work their clients pay for, such as research papers. They might not be very reputable. They definitely shouldn’t be hired to take your English class for you!