Online cheating in college; how University at Buffalo is leading the way to combat dishonesty

Claire Schen UB Professor
Posted at 6:24 AM, Nov 20, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Snigdha Motadaka is a sophomore Computer Science student at the University at Buffalo.

"The dream job would be being a researcher and analyzing data that comes from outer space," Motadaka says.

It's been a very stressful time for students at UB.

"I had like two midterms and I also had two programming assignments due all on Friday, it was extremely overwhelming," Motadaka says.

With access to the internet being easier than ever, students are looking for ways to cut corners.

"They find themselves just overwhelmed and they don't know where else to turn and they look for ways to get things done that involve shortcuts," says UB Engineering Professor Jeffrey Arrington. "There are things like Course Hero and Chegg."

UB Director of the Office of Academic Integrity Kelly Ahuna says, "the Chegg site is very common for the math and science courses, you can upload your question to the site and they solve it. Obviously cheating."

7 Eyewitness News reached out to both Chegg and Course Hero and they provided the following statements:

A Chegg spokesperson says, "we care deeply about academic integrity. I think students don't want to cheat, they want to learn and we are a resource to help them do that."

Representatives from Course Hero tell 7 Eyewitness News, "the resources on Course Hero are not cheating and [Course Hero] does not tolerate cheating."

"[Sites like] Google Scholar and Google are really easy ways [to cheat]," says UB Associate Professor of Historym Claire Schen

UB unveiled new policies this year when it comes to preventing cheating and Ahuna says, the policies are working.

"UB really is in my opinion leading the way in this, because not a lot of resources have stand alone offices," Ahuna says.

How do students feel about these new policies?

"It's quite strict, but I think it's a good thing for it to be strict because it's really easy to cheat," Motadaka says. "I have too much at stake, I'd rather get a C than an F. I'd rather do it myself than get an F and risk losing my scholarship."