Where there is demand for a service, one can almost certainly guarantee that there will be a steady stream of supply from those looking to capitalize on an opportunity to profit while simultaneously, and quickly, entering into a race to the bottom in terms of pricing, promotion, placement, and product quality.
Well, the supply chain manager or logistician who actually completed his or her degree would know this, but that is no longer a given considering that more and more students are admitting to their using either formal or informal channels to cheat so as to gain admittance into higher education without having to put in the time required to achieve such consideration otherwise.
Take for instance the concerning statistic that over 64 percent of post-secondary students have openly admitted to cheating on an exam with 58 and 95 percent, respectively, taking no issue with plagiarism or copying homework, writ large.
While these facts and figures speak volumes on the integrity, or lack thereof, of university applicants this day in age, it has also begun to mar the reputation of higher education as well as spark a greater debate as to what such institutions should do in order to prevent rampant cheating on entrance exams.
Many argue that colleges and universities should take responsibility for running a 20th century-style, or paper-based, admissions process in a 21st-century world without taking into consideration the digitization of cheating that now sees exams not only shared via social media, but also for sale for anywhere between £70 to as little as $50.
But as is par for the course with any criminal activity, and, yes, this is considered a chargeable offense, how do those in higher education stay one step ahead of cheaters and cheats?
Cracking the cheating code
As long as there have been standardized tests like the SAT, GMAT, GCSE, and still others, there has been the incentive to cheat.
Perhaps, and not to make excuses for any inexcusable behaviour, the student feels incredible pressure to succeed, has a family that wants him or her to study abroad on account of better opportunities, or is otherwise distressed about not being able to pay for college should the marks come back without a subsequent scholarship offer.
No matter the circumstances, however, the fact that cheating has only increased by 30 percent year over year since 2014 means degrees may not be seen as valuable when issued by those universities that do not take a stand against both contract-cheaters as well as those one-off individuals just trying to beat the system.
While Pearson’s test-administering division, or Edexcel, has fully adopted the use of GPS technology and micro-chipping, universities and colleges may struggle with footing the bill for bringing this type of capability ‘in house’.
That said, Hanhaa’s ParceLive is a turnkey solution for administrators looking to stay one-step ahead of cheaters with its easy-to-use, six-sensor tracker that can be strategically placed on packets of tests to ensure there is no unauthorized personnel accessing the contents of such sensitive documents.
By ‘outsourcing’ this to Hanhaa’s team, the college or university may not only dissuade potential cheaters, but also report out savings to parents and public at large for an all-around, student-focused goodwill campaign
Revise, return, and reuse
When tests are compromised, and they will be so long as, again, the incentive to cheat exists, the need to revise offerings will also need to be considered.
This is where Hanhaa’s ParceLive shines above the rest with sensors that are recyclable across more than 40 countries and three continents, or North America, Europe, and the Middle East and Asia.
While the aim, of course, is to stop cheating dead in its tracks or to prevent it outright, the peace of mind afforded the university, high school, and post-secondary communities should be a welcome relief, especially as such ‘good news’ stories help to begin rebuilding the reputation of those institutions previously threatened by cheating scandals.
Hanhaa’s ParceLive software and hardware may not seem like the obvious choice in higher education when it comes to preventing test theft and cheating scandals, but the tracking technology embedded within the recyclable devices is more than a solid business investment so much as a means to ensure no university’s reputation grows questionable.
Sadly, and while dishonesty within college applicant pools runs deep and includes everything from parents and donors to AI and smart glasses, there are few comprehensive solutions that could catch every conceivable crook.
That’s why Hanhaa’s ParceLive is so powerful and why their value proposition hinges on not catching cheats after they have already committed the fraudulent, though they have that capability, but, rather, to stop scandals and irreversible reputational damage at the source.