I’m here to ask a favour from all of our lovely tutors in this community!
We have been noticing here at Tutorful HQ that cases of plagiarism seem to be increasing and also becoming a little bit more complex and therefore harder to figure and pin down. We of course want to ensure that we can support our tutors in these instances and we know that it can be difficult to know if a student is being genuine in their request for a tutor to help prepare them for exams etc or if they are looking to plagiarise.
What we currently do:
As you are likely aware, we have the functionality within your Tutorful account to report a student to us to make us aware of a situation such as plagiarism that has come via a message from a student. Once we have this information we can then view your messages and (in the case of obvious plagiarism) remove that student’s access to Tutorful.
The following FAQ’s explain our stance on plagiarism and on reporting a student including how to do so and when this action should be taken.
Academic Honesty – Tutorful
So with that said, I would like to open up the floor to our tutors to share your thoughts, tips and tricks to not only help support your fellow tutors but also us here at Tutorful! If you have any suggestions on how we can better help in these instances please pop them as a comment below we would love to hear from you!
P.S I also hope everyone is enjoying the lovely sunshine we are experiencing
I had quite a few a month or two ago, but not for a little while. Several people asked me to do exams or papers for them, who were reported and quickly dealt with. I think the biggest problem is those who are a bit more subtle. The people who imply they want help with the material because an assessment is coming up, then it becomes clear that they just want you do it for them (or the bulk of it anyway).
I think it would be easier for us as tutors if there was more guidance on exactly where the line is. I find it fairly easy to stay within what the universities would consider acceptable, but Tutorful’s guidance is essentially not to help them. This doesn’t make it perfectly clear what is allowed so I’m more worried about running foul of Tutorful’s rules than the universities’. You could argue that all students’ tuition is to help with assessments, at least indirectly. The more reasonable interpretation is to not directly help but this is ambiguous as well. Does this include proofreading, offering general advice, looking at what they have done to see if any areas need focusing on, etc? The site does have dissertation and essay writing as subjects (which may attract people wanting it done for them) so I assume it can’t be an entirely hands off approach.
Great shout. It definitely has increased. There were around 1-2 months where all I was getting was requests to sit exams / do assignments (even got interviewed by the Independent on the state of play with alternative exam arrangements put in place). It normally picks up during May / June and December season when university assignments are due. Therefore, close monitoring during that time should help. Moreover, you can code the system to pick up key words and flag to your team to intervene e.g. ‘sit exam’.
I do use the report functionality a lot. However, there perhaps also needs to be some way of waiving off impact to the booking score for such unethical requests. Is that something that is easily possible @Kirsty_Tutorful?
During the lockdown I received more and more messages from people asking me to help them with online exams and to basically do their work for them. It got to the point that every time I received a message I assumed it’s probably some other person asking me to help them cheat.
I agree with Dylan that it’s not always easy to distinguish between what’s acceptable helping and what’s giving them an unfair advantage and is unethical. I have been following my gut instinct on whether what they’re asking me to do is wrong.
Luckily I’ve not had any problems with this.