Saturday, August 10, 2013

Higher Education Watchdog Issues Warning Over Cheating

by Schools Improvement Net:

Many private colleges are failing to crackdown on cheating among students despite growing concerns over the so-called “cut and paste culture”. This is from the Telegraph …

The higher education watchdog said that problems with assessment and plagiarism were more likely to be flagged up during inspections than almost any other issue.

In many cases, it emerged that private institutions were failing to use common cheating software that can scan students’ work to identify those attempting to copy passages from academic articles, journals and books.

Colleges were also marked down over academic standards, with the regulator raising concerns over the quality of course design, the “learning experience” and levels of information published for prospective students.

The disclosure was made in an analysis of more than 200 private higher education providers by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

Since last year, universities and colleges have been forced to gain “highly-trusted sponsor status” before gaining a licence to recruit foreign students. The QAA has been tasked with inspecting those providing higher education courses.

In a report, the watchdog revealed that the vast majority of private colleges - 86 per cent - had achieved a positive review, enabling them to apply for highly-trusted status.

The quality of student support, standards of teaching and links made with industry were among areas most often singled out for praise.

Students expressed “high levels of satisfaction with academic staff”, the QAA said, with lecturers being marked up for subject knowledge, teaching ability and approachability.

But the QAA said 14 per cent of institutions gained one or more “negative judgements” and were not automatically eligible to recruit foreign students.

Reviewers made a series of recommendations after inspecting colleges. Some 126 separate recommendations were made into improving the quality of courses and a further 117 related to staff recruitment and development.

In all, the QAA made 92 recommendations concerning assessment and plagiarism. This included the use of consistent grading schemes for students’ work, proper moderation of marking, the failure to employ plagiarism software and the lack of any overarching policy for cheating.

More at:  Higher education watchdog issues warning over cheating

Seems a bit worrying that many institutions are failing to use commonly available anti-cheating software. What do you think?

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