ChatGPT has become a popular way for students to cheat on exams and assignments. However, a recent study found that students have some other tricks to use.

ChatGPT has been criticized for some time because students use the chatbot as an aid for homework and exams. However, a recent study has now shown that cheaters also like to use other platforms.

Not ChatGPT: Students use online tools for exams

In her paper, “Academic Dishonesty in Online Accounting Exams,” Jenelle Conaway of George Mason University in the US examined how accounting students use the academic aid website to cheat on online exams.

The platform offers extensive options for finding answers to exam questions – even if tasks were designed specifically for a particular test. What many students don't pay attention to, however, is that Chegg records when people have viewed the individual answers. In this way, the researchers were able to track how many students used the service during an exam.

Using data from an advanced accounting course, the study shows that in the spring 2020 semester, nearly 13 percent of students used Chegg during final exams. The number of cheaters increased in the summer semester of 2020, when almost a quarter of the class took Chegg during an exam.

E-learning makes cheating easier

Professors are aware that such online tools exist. However, they apparently couldn't grasp the extent of it. “None of the instructors we spoke with were aware that a student could submit an instructor-created question and receive an answer in real time during a live exam,” Conaway explains in a press release.

Especially since the pandemic, it has become even more difficult for teachers to check the honesty of exam participants. Because large parts of everyday study life now take place online. There are technical tools to ensure academic integrity in online exams – for example through LockDown browsers that prevent other activities outside of the test. However, they are not foolproof.

According to Conway, professors should therefore create new exam questions every semester. This way you can prevent students from finding the answers on Chegg or other websites.

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