A Devilishly Simple Way to Cheat on MOOCs


A Devilishly Simple Way to Cheat on MOOCs

Aug 31, 2015

CHEATERS NEVER PROSPER. But you can’t say they’re not putting some effort in their attempts to game the system. Researchers from Harvard and MIT found one devilishly simple way that MOOC learners are cheating: create dummy accounts to scrape materials and tests for the right answers, then use the primary account to complete the course get the certificate.

What tipped the researchers off: students who answered test questions “faster than is humanly possible,” according to MIT News. This tactic, dubbed “copying answers using multiple existences online” (CAMEO), was used in some 69 of the 115 MOOCs offered by Harvard and MIT from 2012 to 2015. In some courses, as many as 5 percent of students who earned certificates may have used this tactic.

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