Harness technology to curb academic cheating

It is heartening to see the issue of academic cheating being discussed in the Forum page, with suggestions from readers on how to curb this practice ("Online student essay services still thriving"; Oct 31, "Student essay services are a form of cheating" by Miss Susan Tan Lin Neo; Nov 1, and "Ban essay-writing services" by Mr Colin Ong Tau Shien; Nov 7).

This shows that Singaporeans value academic integrity, a quality that is central to building an intellectually thriving, knowledge-based community.

I have a few suggestions to offer.

Many assignments can be done on online platforms such as Google Docs which enable supervising tutors or professors to track the progress of a student's work.

In this way, students cannot simply copy and paste the final product for submission.

Rather, every single input from them can be monitored, and thus, the originality of their work can largely be ensured.

Such platforms also allow the tracking of individual contributions in group-based assignments, which are becoming commonplace in today's education system.

Qu Aohan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2016, with the headline 'Harness technology to curb academic cheating'. Print Edition | Subscribe