Tutoring services, online study guides, and digital forums where students can request help on their homework abound, with some students posting copyrighted homework assignments on the sites, and some “tutors” supplying entire finished papers for users. In response, some faculty members are changing how they conduct their courses.
Some instructors expend added time to craft a fresh set of homework questions for each new semester of a course, or only allow students a quick look at their graded assignments before having them turn the work back in so it can’t be posted online. Others are altering their grading scales to give more weight to in-class exams rather than written papers, which leaves them fewer measurements for calculating a final grade.
While many student-support sites have policies and honor codes in place regarding copyrighted content and completion of students’ work for them, actual self-policing appears to be minimal or nonexistent. It’s up to faculty themselves to search out whether their copyrighted intellectual property has been posted illegally and then file a takedown request via the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.