TEQSA action against Assignmenthelp4you
TEQSA, the Australian Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency has just launched proceedings against a site called Assignmenthelp4you with the aim of restricting access for Australian students to this site.
Media release transcript and link as follows…
“TEQSA has commenced Federal Court proceedings to block access to the website Assignmenthelp4you.com by Australian students.
TEQSA is seeking an injunction requiring 51 carriage service providers to take such steps as the Court considers reasonable to disable access to the website.
This is the first time TEQSA has exercised its power to apply for an injunction under the amendments made by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Amendment (Prohibiting Academic Cheating Services) Act 2020.
The application for an injunction has been made on the basis that the website facilitates a contravention of section 114B of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act).
TEQSA has filed the injunction application under Section 127A of the TEQSA Act.
The Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) is acting for TEQSA in this matter.
As this matter is presently before the Court, TEQSA is unable to comment further at this time.”
Whilst this is a step in the right direction, there are still other sites out there that offer similar services, for example Chegg.
It is going to be like the file-sharing sites that once one domain is blocked, then another two open up. A bit like ‘whack a mole’.
Still, the students that really want to cheat and use Assignmenthelp4you (even after a block on Australian internet service providers) could simply use a free VPN plugin and disguise their location as say from India and easily access the site. (Not that we want to give them any ideas – this is common knowledge!)
Our opinion is that students that are focused on cheating will find a way. Whilst IRIS is applicable for exams and assessments, it is not practical in monitoring the completion of assignments and course content. However, for assessments and exams IRIS and invigilation is the one of the best ways to detect copy/pasting of questions into sites such as assignmenthelp4you.com, Chegg, or even Google.
The team at IRIS are currently writing a paper on the behavioural elements of contract cheating and academic misconduct. The aim is to address a wide range of ethical and behavioural questions around topic, including ‘could academic misconduct become acceptable behaviour?’. When released the paper will be downloadable from this site.