Friday, September 28, 2012

Concern Over Online Course-Taking Sites

It didn’t take long for reports to surface that people were cheating in massive open online courses (MOOCs). Coursera even took a proactive approach by adding honor-code reminders to its courses.

Now, web sites are popping up offering to take the online course for students and promising them at least a “B” in the class. There’s a price for this service, ranging from $95 for an essay to $900 to complete an entire course, according to a report in Inside Higher Education.

“It’s what they say about cockroaches: when you see one there are hundreds that you don’t see,” said A.J. Kelton, director of emerging and instructional technology at Montclair State University.

A graphic description perhaps, but Inside Higher Ed could find little about the sites. Some even appeared to be operated by the same person or group. In addition, administrators like Kelton are concerned it could be the beginning of an online higher ed black market.

“The difference with something like is that if you’re going to pay someone to go to your 300-person Psych 101 class, that person can only go to one exam at a time,” Kelton said. “That same expert, however, could take six, eight, 10, 12 online courses simultaneously.”

One result from the article was the site has been taken offline, according to an update on the Inside Higher Ed web site. 

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