The drastic increase in online learning — amplified since the COVID-19 pandemic — has shape-shifted education while transforming classroom environments. Educators are required to address, and meet, managing their students in a virtual environment where screens act as a buffer between genuine human connections. This in turn has created further challenges for teachers, including students accessing popular websites like Chegg.
The Iowa State University’s article, Student Conduct: On-line Cheating and Chegg, indicated that the reported cases in which coursework warehouses like Chegg, StudyBlue, Course Hero, and Quizlet were used to cheat on online courses are increasing, according to The Office of Student Conduct.
Chegg is an inescapable component of education. The popular textbook solution provider and online tutoring site is a strong dynamic to education in this new environment. It contributes to the teacher-student dynamic with educational resources, which can be both positive and negative.
Here’s what you need to know about Chegg, along with some reminders to relay to students as an educator at every level of your course.
What is Chegg?
Chegg answers academic questions posed by students, which then contributes to the rising threat of academic integrity in students. Thus, some students access the website to practice academic dishonesty. The website was originally meant to aid students with their intellectual performance while making it affordable. Chegg is inexpensive, saves students time, and operates much like a tutor. Some of the company’s services provided include:
- homework help
- test prepping
- education technology
- online textbook rentals — digital and physical
- study resources
How to know if a student has used Chegg?
You can contact Chegg directly to aid you in your investigations because Chegg can
- view a student’s question, confirm and report to you about who accessed the information
- report to you the electronic devices your student has used by collecting IP addresses
- access your student’s emails and billing addresses to report to you when and what question was viewed on their website
To reveal and address the issue of unethical academic conduct by your students, you can also simply access plagiarism detection software to analyze your students’ work. Popular detection websites to assist you are Turnitin and SafeAssign. Both of these online plagiarism websites will implement worldwide scans of your student’s work.
Chegg is regulated by the federal government and is bound by law. Chegg’s public statement to educators can be found here.
How to talk to your students about Chegg?
Teachers and professors provide guidance to their students, which aids in clarifying how they can access and use additional resources in their studies and research. Whether they are a new student or a mature student, remind them about the high importance of their academic honesty. Some tips to keep in mind while fostering and maintaining academic integrity include:
- Emphasize the importance of transparency and academic honesty
- Remind your students that you will check their work
- Indicate the importance and responsibility they have to build their reputation for credibility in their careers
- Encourage your students to consult with you and ask questions to ease their minds about any potential violation they have made
- Authentic, critical thinking has rewards and hits the mark: incentive for extra bonus marks is effective as an academic reward for original work
- Encourage your students to practice proper time management of their classes and assignments, so as to aid with diffusing the temptation for students who may contemplate cheating on assignments and exams
- Remind your students of the consequences and penalties of poor practice (e.g., expulsion or suspension)
- Provide reminders and clear examples of how you want students to cite their references — even in advanced classes — so that they avoid violating the academic integrity code
- Do not create a vibration of indifference in your students by setting examples of your students caught violating academic integrity and honesty
- Remind students that they represent their academic institution, which is a reflection of them, potentially of their learning academy and their chosen profession.
- Provide a clear and concise breakdown of what constitutes plagiarism. Whether the violation is intentional or not, consequences will result.
Why is using Chegg cheating?
Students who use Chegg for copying work and misrepresenting it as their original work are cheating their way through their studies. The program was designed for students who require additional resources for their academic achievements.
With proper instruction from the educator to the student about properly citing their essays, Chegg can be a valuable resource that enhances their academic performance. It is simply another way for a student to access supplement tutorials with low expenses to do so.
In The Cavalier Daily‘s article on Chegg, Christopher Neu, a physics associate professor, stated that the main reason he followed up on the Chegg posts was to preserve equity among his students and eliminate unfair advantages. He stated, “I’m not working with Chegg. I’m trying to preserve the integrity of my class for everyone that’s involved. It just so happens that Chegg was the medium that was used to cheat in [my course] last semester.”
The infamous question of which came first can be applied in the case of academic integrity issues. With millions of students turning to Chegg for aiding their academic studies and homework, Chegg’s name was created by combining the words “chicken” and “egg.”
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