Cheating Is Easier Than Ever For Online College Students | TODAY

23 Mar 202105:07

TLDRWith the shift to online learning, cheating has become increasingly prevalent among college students. The use of websites like Chegg, which provides step-by-step solutions to homework problems, has been exploited by students who skip the learning process and go straight for the answers. Last year, Chegg's subscribers grew by nearly 70%, and the number of questions posted on the site increased by almost 200%. This has not gone unnoticed by educational institutions, as evidenced by an investigation at Texas A&M that found over 800 cases of academic misconduct. In response to these concerns, Chegg has introduced Honor Shield, which allows professors to upload exams to block access to certain questions during testing periods. Schools are also adapting their policies, with Texas A&M moving away from 'open book' or 'open note' terminology to clearly define what constitutes acceptable resources. Despite these measures, some students continue to find ways to cheat, such as using Google or social media tips to bypass online proctoring systems. The ease of cheating raises concerns about the quality of education and the potential impact on future academic performance.


  • 🎓 **Cheating in Online Education**: The ease of cheating has increased with the shift to online learning, where students can use various methods to find answers without understanding the material.
  • 📱 **Use of Technology**: Students are using their smartphones and computers to search for answers in real-time, bypassing the learning process.
  • 📈 **Rise in Cheating Tools**: Platforms like Chegg have seen a significant increase in subscribers and question postings, indicating a rise in their use for cheating purposes.
  • 🔍 **Google as a Cheat Sheet**: Students are also using Google to find answers to homework and test questions, which can lead to academic dishonesty.
  • 🏫 **Academic Misconduct**: Institutions like Texas A&M have reported a high number of academic misconduct cases, some involving the use of online resources during exams.
  • 🚫 **Proctoring Systems**: There is an increase in breaches of online proctoring systems, with students finding ways to cheat even when monitored via webcam.
  • 🤖 **Innovative Cheating Methods**: Some students have gone to extreme lengths, such as using drones to take pictures of test questions.
  • 📉 **Learning vs. Passing**: The concern is that online learning leads to students focusing on passing rather than truly learning and understanding the subject matter.
  • 🏢 **Chegg's Response**: Chegg has introduced measures like Honor Shield to work with institutions to prevent misuse of their platform during exams.
  • 📚 **Google's Educational Focus**: Google emphasizes the development of educational features to help students learn concepts rather than just finding answers.
  • 📉 **Impact on Future Learning**: There are concerns about the long-term effects of current cheating trends on students' learning and academic integrity.

Q & A

  • What is the main issue discussed in the transcript?

    -The main issue discussed is the rise in cheating among online college students, facilitated by online resources like Chegg and the use of search engines like Google.

  • How do students cheat using Chegg?

    -Students cheat by going directly to the answer provided by Chegg, which is supposed to help with step-by-step solutions, but is often misused.

  • What was the increase in Chegg subscribers last year?

    -Chegg subscribers grew by almost 70% last year.

  • What happened at Texas A&M that highlighted the cheating issue?

    -An investigation at Texas A&M found more than 800 cases of academic misconduct after a faculty member noticed students completing complex exams online in under a minute.

  • What other methods are students using to cheat besides Chegg?

    -Students are also using Google to find answers to exam questions and social media platforms like TikTok for tips on bypassing online proctoring systems.

  • What has Proctor U observed regarding test breaches on its platform?

    -Proctor U has seen a 700% increase in test breaches on its platform, with some students even using drones to take pictures of test questions.

  • How does Chegg respond to the misuse of its platform for cheating?

    -Chegg has introduced Honor Shield, which asks professors to upload exams so it can block answers to certain questions at specific times when students are taking tests.

  • What is Google's stance on students using its search engine to cheat?

    -Google has developed educational features to help people learn concepts in math and science, and while it acknowledges the possibility of students cheating, it emphasizes its commitment to educational development.

  • What steps are schools taking to curb cheating?

    -Schools are advised to clearly set academic integrity expectations, moving away from 'open book' or 'open note' terminologies, and being specific about what is and isn't allowed during exams.

  • What concerns do students and faculty have about online learning and its impact on future semesters?

    -There are concerns that online learning may not be as effective as in-person classes, leading to students passing without truly understanding the material and potentially affecting their performance in future semesters.

  • How do students feel about the effectiveness of online learning?

    -Some students feel that online learning is not as effective, with information going 'in one ear and out the other', leading to a reliance on cheating to pass classes.

  • What is the reporter's concern about students admitting their cheating on TV?

    -The reporter is concerned about the honesty of students admitting to cheating publicly, as it reflects poorly on both the students and the integrity of the educational system.



🎓 Cheating in Online Education

The first paragraph discusses the prevalence of cheating among students in an online learning environment. Students are using various methods to cheat, including searching for answers on their phones during exams and using websites like Chegg to find answers to homework questions. The reporter demonstrates how easy it is to find answers to a chemistry assignment on Chegg. The issue is that while these platforms are designed to help students learn by providing step-by-step solutions, most students are only interested in the final answer. The paragraph also highlights that this behavior is not ideal for learning but raises concerns about how it might affect testing and academic integrity.




Cheating refers to acts of dishonesty or unfairness intended to gain an academic advantage. In the context of the video, students use various online resources like Chegg and Google to find answers during exams, circumventing the learning process. This is illustrated when students admit to cheating to maintain high grades or to cope with online learning challenges.

💡Online Proctoring

Online proctoring involves monitoring students during tests to ensure academic integrity. The video mentions services like Proctor U, which reported a 700% increase in test breaches. Despite technological safeguards, students find ways around these systems, indicating a significant challenge in maintaining exam security in remote settings.

💡Academic Integrity

Academic integrity refers to the moral code or ethical policy of academia. This includes values such as avoiding cheating or plagiarism. In the video, experts emphasize setting clear expectations for academic integrity to reduce 'moral wiggle room,' highlighting the importance of honesty in educational settings.


Chegg is an educational technology company that provides textbook rentals and online tutoring. The video discusses its role in facilitating cheating by providing answers to test questions. Although Chegg aims to assist learning, the misuse of its services for cheating was notably increased, prompting them to introduce measures like the 'Honor Shield' to block certain answers during exams.


In the video, Google is mentioned as another tool students frequently use to cheat on exams. The ease of finding answers online without proper studying underscores the challenges educators face in crafting assessments that truly evaluate a student's understanding and retention of the material.

💡Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct involves actions that deceitfully or unfairly enhance one's academic standing. The video cites a case at Texas A&M where over 800 instances were found, highlighting the prevalence and ease of cheating in online education environments.

💡Educational Features

Google and other platforms develop educational features intended to aid learning, not facilitate cheating. These features are designed to help students understand concepts in subjects like math and science, but misuse for cheating shows a misalignment between technological tools and educational goals.

💡Test Breaches

Test breaches refer to incidents where security measures of an examination are compromised. The video mentions a significant increase in test breaches due to online proctoring vulnerabilities, illustrating the ongoing struggle between technology use and academic honesty.

💡Proctor U

Proctor U is an online proctoring service that helps institutions administer remote tests securely. The service noted a significant increase in attempts to cheat, such as the use of drones to capture test questions, highlighting the inventive methods students employ to circumvent proctoring technologies.

💡Future Semesters

The discussion about future semesters reflects concerns over the long-term impact of rampant cheating and inadequate learning during online classes. Students worry about their lack of deep knowledge acquisition, which could affect their readiness and performance in subsequent academic endeavors.


Students are increasingly using online resources to cheat in online college courses.

Many students admit to cheating due to the ease of using technology at home without teacher supervision.

Real-time online search capabilities, such as using Google, facilitate cheating during exams.

Chegg, an educational platform, is being misused by students to get direct answers instead of learning.

Chegg subscribers grew by almost 70% last year, and the number of questions posted on the site increased by nearly 200% in 2020.

Texas A&M found over 800 cases of academic misconduct last semester after noticing students completing complex exams in under a minute.

Cheating methods include using drones to take pictures of test questions and attempting to bypass online proctoring systems.

ProctorU, an online proctoring service, has seen a 700% increase in test breaches on their platform.

The rise in online cheating is part of a larger issue concerning the effectiveness of online learning.

Students express concerns about the impact of online cheating on their learning and future academic performance.

Chegg has introduced Honor Shield to block answers to certain questions at certain times during tests.

Google claims its educational features are designed to help people learn concepts, not just find answers.

Schools are advised to set clear academic integrity expectations to reduce moral ambiguity for students.

Texas A&M is moving away from 'open book' or 'open note' terminology to avoid confusion about what constitutes acceptable resources.

Students caught cheating on TV admit to the act, highlighting the prevalence of cheating in online education.

The article raises questions about the long-term effects of online cheating on students' learning and academic integrity.