Deceitful Educational Software

While cheating is in no way a new problem, it's become amplified thanks to the rise of modern technology. Deceitful educational software is becoming more accessible to students and causing academic institutions to crack down on cheating. Schools are prohibiting certain technologies and even charging students who use them with academic misconduct.

What is Deceitful Educational Software?

Students must abide by different standards based on the academic integrity policy at their school. Deceitful educational software may be relatively new, but schools have already been quick to adapt. Most universities have added technological misconduct sections to their academic integrity policies.

For instance, the Indiana University of Pennsylvania includes specific examples of academic integrity violations as they relate to technology. They use “computer dishonesty” to address computing policies. The violations include:

  • Attempting to use computing accounts or other information for which the student is not authorized.
  • Providing false or misleading information to obtain access to a computer or other information resources.
  • Attempting to obtain usernames, passwords, PINs for another user's account, or sharing this information with others.
  • Attempting to disguise the identity of a computing account.
  • Using university resources to access remote computers.
  • Port scanning, violating intellectual property rights, software license agreements, and copyright laws.
  • Using or installing software that is not properly licensed.
  • Using information resources to monitor, copy, change, or delete someone's files or software without permission.

Although they do not expressively state which software is “deceitful,” the university does state which behaviors are prohibited. Students can be punished for using software that helps them break any of their school's academic integrity rules.

Types of Deceitful Educational Software

There's no shortage of deceitful software available for students. In The Art of Cheating in the 21st Millennium, researchers discovered that students frequently use portable electrical devices for cheating. The smartwatch, in particular, can help students store resources during exams with reduced rates of detection. Some companies even advertise that their smartwatch product can be used as “a cheating watch for cheating in exams.” In response to this technology, universities around the world are banning smartwatches to cut down on high-tech cheating.

The NYU Disptach notes that there are hundreds of thousands of websites that are “offering custom-written papers, selling cheat aids, and publishing how-to-cheat videos.” They also state that student cheating has become more advanced due to new software—like virtual private networks that hide their identity.

Deceitful Educational Software on Campus

Students are taking advantage of these new technologies, despite the severe ramifications for being caught cheating. According to a 2017 study by McAfee, 62% of U.S. students report seeing or hearing another student using a connected device to cheat at school. Deceitful educational software is a broad category, and academic integrity policies vary. However, students are frequently using certain types of software. They include:

  • Software that condenses long text into shorter text for assignments.
  • Software that rewrites chunks of text.
  • Software that translates text into another language.
  • Artificial Intelligence software that finishes text.

Educators are becoming more adept at fighting back against these innovations. Many institutions use academic integrity software to detect cheating and the use of deceitful software. Services like LockDown Browser help educators block students from using other applications while taking an online exam. They also use tools like Turnitin to identify plagiarism.

Punishment for Using Deceitful Software

Punishment for using deceitful software can be severe. Students face a number of sanctions as a result of violating academic integrity policies. These can range from probation to suspension and even expulsion. There are also long-term consequences for violating these policies. Students may have difficulty finding future employment, applying for other academic programs, or protecting their academic honors.

To punish students for using deceitful software, schools must first detect that a student is violating academic integrity. All schools have their own set of written guidelines that outline their disciplinary process. In most cases, universities will hold a hearing to investigate allegations of academic misconduct. They may also use resources, like integrity software, to gather evidence and combat violations.

Students accused of academic misconduct can defend themselves during proceedings. During the investigations, administrators will usually allow all parties to provide an account of the event. They also allow students to use an advisor to help them navigate through the process. Advisors can be someone like a faculty member, family member, friend, or attorney. Though there are many choices for advisors, selecting an attorney is the best course of action.

Retaining an Academic Dishonesty Attorney

Unfortunately, many universities take advantage of the student's ignorance of their rights. They may move swiftly throughout the proceedings and strip away the student's ability to defend themselves properly. They may also be biased against the accused student. They frequently take the side of the accuser to protect their reputation and academic integrity.

Universities may also infringe upon the privacy rights of the students in an effort to combat misconduct. Many colleges are using questionable surveillance tactics that invade students' privacy. Some have been found using software that violates the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This law states that if vendors collect data on its users, the college Is the owner of that data and responsible for its legal use. 

To avoid being taken advantage of, students should use an academic dishonesty attorney. These advisors will help them protect their rights and ensure they receive a fair hearing. Not only do they know academic integrity policies, but they also have experience pushing back against illegal surveillance and breaches of privacy. They can also ensure discretion and the student's right to remain anonymous during the proceedings. Since students don't typically have experience going through hearings, the attorney's experience can be instrumental in helping them go through the process.

Finding the right advisor can make all the difference in academic integrity cases. If you've been charged with academic misconduct, you need experienced representation on your side. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have defended students in countless types of academic misconduct cases. They have the knowledge and experience you need to achieve a positive outcome. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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