kimryan73
Member

Student assignemnts and homework

I see a lot of jobs asking to complete an essay or assignment. Often the attachment will use the letterhead of a university, so there is not even any attempt to disguise the work.

 

My problem is that sudents:

a) pay very little

b) don't have much employment history

c) come exam time, are fooling themselves if they think they can outsource their learning

 

I've complained about this before.There should be a reporitng category for Homework, likey they do at guru.com. The answer was to use the fraud category. Seems like most of these jobs are never removed anyway.

34 REPLIES 34
m_njari
Member

"...

My problem is that sudents:

a) pay very little

b) don't have much employment history

c) come exam time, are fooling themselves if they think they can outsource their learning

 

I've complained about this before..."

 

Kim R, I really don't know if there is a commercial site that bars students from outsourcing services, but I find your suggestion odd.

 

* As for students paying very little, so do other clients - in fact, all clients offer a pay for you to take it or leave it.

 

* About students having little employment history, that applies to many other clients as well. It is up to the contractor to be vigilant and make a safe bet.

 

* About cheating on exams, that's sad, but I don't think Upwork can pupport to deal with matters of morality or even to play parent to students all over the globe.

 

In my view, trying to lock out a client who comes in the name of student would be unwarranted discrimination. I've personally taken chances with clients with minimal history on the site, and among them have been students. One of them was a PhD student from Chicago who wanted me to translate material she was going to use out in the field while doing research. See how unfair it would be to deny services to such a student.

 

Of course that is not to say I don't understand your concerns about students getting marks for subjects they know zero about, but I think that problem is at someone else's feet and not Upwork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You might want to read this thread. Upwork's position on these kind of assignments is quite clear:

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Jobs-involving-doing-Student-s-Homework/td-p/85409

 

And I agree with them.

It's hard to stop these jobs being posted, but it is against the polices of **Edited for Community Guidelines** and also I think UpWork.

 

My point with students is that it's the least productive work we can get. The students often join the same day they need the work, so we can't measure how payment will go. They usually have much less money to spend then a commercial client, and there is not much follow on work.

 

My point is that if you do their essays and assignments for them, they may well not have learnt enough to pass the exams they have to sit at the end of the term. So they are just selling themselves short by taking this approach. I'm not saying they get people to do exams for them.

 

Translating a document is fine. But the jobs I've seen are asking you to complete entire assignments, whcih are attached to the job posting. There will alsways be some freelancers here who will opt for any type of job. But I think UpWork could do more to screen them out with better reporting.  And I think the quailty of jobs overall would rise.

Students should be welcome to get reasonable assistance, but they should not be hiring people to entirely do their homework for them.

 

The responsibility for enforcing this resides PRIMARILY with the contractors.

 

There are limitations in terms of technology and resources to what Upwork can do to prevent students from posting homework assignments as job postings.


@Preston H wrote:

 

There are limitations in terms of technology and resources to what Upwork can do to prevent students from posting homework assignments as job postings.


Preston,

 

There are always technology and resource limitations, as Upwork bears witness every day.

 

Neither limitation is an excuse for allowing the site to be use to abet academic (or any other kind) of fraud. Fraud is already grounds for reporting, though it seems to be oriented toward defrauding contractors.

 

There is a code and operational template in place owned by Upwork via Elance, where jobs are automatically screened for red-flag terms that route the postings to human screeners. It's an imperfect system, and Elance claimed, if memory serves, that it caught about 90 percent of the academic fraud posts.

 

Best,

Michael

It would be very easy to enhance the reporting of students coursework. Firstly there is no flagging category that this falls under. 'Phishing/fraud' is what I use, but it's not an accurate descripton. I have requested a 'class work' category be added when flagging inappropriate work, but nothing has happened.

 

Secondly, you could easily scan job titles and descriptions for words such as assignment, exam, lecture etc. Students don't  even attept to disguise their assignemtn cheating as they know that no real screening takes place.

 

I get the feeling thaty the proirity is maximum jobs being filled and hence more comision. Dubious and illegal work is sometimes removed but it currently takes a lot of effort often by freelancers to achive this. There is alo a huge amount of copyright infringment though web scraping jobs. I pass on most of them as they look to unethical, as in clone my competitiors e-store.

 

Repoting to the class supervisor is a good idea, might follow up on that.

Plagiarism is a very serious Issue, you should report the student to the univerity.

I have worte to the supervisors more than one for students that were tring to cheat 

 

kat303
Member

Here's an interesting article concerning student assignments.  http://chronicle.com/article/The-Shadow-Scholar/125329/

Still more hoe work coming in. I saw two jobs, a very simple Unix shell script to detect a keyboard interupt and a Perl script to identify ZIP codes. Both were $8, scope too small to be a real job. Would be less than one hours work for an average student to complete.

 

I flagged them and contacted community support 4 days ago. But my ticket was just marked as solved and the actual jobs both got hires.

 

My guess is that many students are laughing at how easily and cheaply they can co-opt freelancers to do their assignemnts.


@Kim R wrote:

Still more hoe work coming in. I saw two jobs, a very simple Unix shell script to detect a keyboard interupt and a Perl script to identify ZIP codes. Both were $8, scope too small to be a real job.


 what makes those academic fraud?

 

The problem is that without proof or at least evidence Upwork can't just go round deleting job posts. So they look at the job posting and messages, and if there is no sign that it is indeed fraudulent thy have to leave it be.

 

Being completely non technical I'd see those and assume someone needs a script...

Conditions of study is that assignement are the students own work. Students are regulary failed for breaking this (mostly when detection is easy such as plagarism) . These jobs asked for entire programs to be written by the freelancer.

Kim, What I was wondering was:

 

Was it clear that these jobs were for a school assignment?

I can't paste in the actual job links or descriptions  as it is against the guide lines and would get removed. It's impossible to be 100% sure it is homework. But from my reading the jobswere so short and simple that it is highly likely to be home work. They were a list of tasks to test your knowledge, not solving a business problem.

So I guess it's hard to have enough evidence to filter these out, but annoying as they were posting simialr jobs within a few days of each other. Best policy is to ignore this type of work if you value your time.

That's what I was thinking.

 

In absence of proof or even any real evidence (such as "my professor wants it by Wednesday" in the message center for example) the people who review the job posting can not just remove a job when it could easily (and would, to someone without in depth knowledge of the job that is being advertised,  appear to be by just looking at it) a legitimate little job of someone needing a script to do something or the other on their website or software or whatever.

 

 

 

 

I know some people are really concerned about this.

 

But it is more of an issue for the schools, teachers, and students than it is for Upwork.

 

Upwork already has policies in place that ban academic fraud.

 

But there is no way to completely prevent it if a client is determined to do it and clever enough to get away with it.

 

It is important right Upwork prevent financial fraud and prevent itself, its contractors and its clients from being defrauded.

 

I'm sorry, but preventing a student from cheating on a homework assignment, however important it may be, is never going to be a central purpose of Upwork. It is ancillary.

 

A job posting to solve a legitimate problem, offering legitimate money to do so, which MIGHT be something that is part of a homework assignment somewhere, or might not be, is simply not grounds for reporting a job posting as being fraudulent.

Anonymous User
Not applicable
This widget could not be displayed.

Academic fraud is not allowed all over the world, is a criminal action and is sometimes accompanied by immigration or research fraud. Those who offer this work and their willing academics on Upwork are untrustworthy people who can easily be detected, especially the freelancers with their real names on their profiles A lot of students are thrown out of universities because of academic fraud and their helpers may be prosecuted later.

People even do not try to hide what they are looking for in their job offers on Upwork. For example there are several academic fraud job offers from a country where people can be penalized with death when they spread rumours in social networks. What will happen to those persons whose academic fraud will be detected?

This is a moral issue. The students would do it anyway, regardless of where they hire the contractors.

gz99
Member

Every now and then I'm getting jobs in my feed that were clearly posted by students who are trying to get their assignments done by contractors.

 

Shouldn't we have the ability to report such jobs to Upwork? Shouldn't Upwork at least try do something right for once and weed out such "clients", report them back to their schools when possible?

 

This practice leads to the ever growing number of people who have certifications and zero knowledge or skills, which is frustrating for everyone, I think. Yet these "jobs" keep popping up, and there's no shortage of bids from what I see.

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Alexei,

 

Upwork takes academic fraud seriously and we will review and address any violation of our policies around this type of work. Please flag these jobs as "Phishing/Fraud" to put them in front of our team for review.

Untitled

Found another job asking for uni homework assignments to be done. Just like their last 3 jobs. Homework is even in the title. The help desk has beeen pretty good at closing these in the last few months. But this one just got marked as solved and I didn't even get an email noitification!

 

Very hard to belive that such a blatant breach as this doesn't get picked up. These low ball jobs from lazy students  really drag down Upworks reputation. That along with fee hike makes me wonder why I bother staying here.


@Kim R wrote:

Found another job asking for uni homework assignments to be done. Just like their last 3 jobs. Homework is even in the title. The help desk has beeen pretty good at closing these in the last few months. But this one just got marked as solved and I didn't even get an email noitification!

 

Very hard to belive that such a blatant breach as this doesn't get picked up. These low ball jobs from lazy students  really drag down Upworks reputation. That along with fee hike makes me wonder why I bother staying here.


I am not sure whether what you're venting at is the fact that these jobs are "low ball" or that the clients are "lazy" or that these job posts compromise Upwork's reputation.  What I understand is that every freelancer is free to choose whether to accept or not to accept such contracts. I have nothing against data entry work for a busy medical doctor.

 

 


@Juvy Ann P wrote:

@Kim R wrote:

Found another job asking for uni homework assignments to be done. Just like their last 3 jobs. Homework is even in the title. The help desk has beeen pretty good at closing these in the last few months. But this one just got marked as solved and I didn't even get an email noitification!

 

Very hard to belive that such a blatant breach as this doesn't get picked up. These low ball jobs from lazy students  really drag down Upworks reputation. That along with fee hike makes me wonder why I bother staying here.


I am not sure whether what you're venting at is the fact that these jobs are "low ball" or that the clients are "lazy" or that these job posts compromise Upwork's reputation.  What I understand is that every freelancer is free to choose whether to accept or not to accept such contracts. I have nothing against data entry work for a busy medical doctor.


Juvy, even though you condone cheating and lazy students academic fraud is against Upworks's term's of service - and this applies to freelancers and clients alike.

 

 

"1.1 Illegal, Fraudulent, Harmful, or Offensive Uses

[. . .]

Seeking, offering, or endorsing any services that violate the academic policies of any educational institution;"

Juvy, you have completely ignored the central problem. Homework assignments are against ther rules here. But they crop up anway. So I like to report them to try and raise the quality of jobs on offer. And thanks Upwork for mostly removing this type of job.  But my last request to do so was marked 'solved' when clearly nothing happened to stop it. It wasn't a line ball case, uni assignments were attachments within the job description. So yes, that makes me angry and I vent.

 

Why are you raising irrelevancies such as '...data entry work for a busy medical doctor.' We all benefit by screening out this type of problem client and not going down the fiverr or airtasker road.

Hi Kim, 


I appreciate you taking time to report these job posts. To confirm, your last request was actually escalated to the team. But I also took a look at the job post and reported it to our Marketplace Quality team so that actions can be taken against the job post and the client's account. 


Thanks again for your help!


~ Avery
Upwork


@Juvy Ann P wrote:

What I understand is that every freelancer is free to choose whether to accept or not to accept such contracts. I have nothing against data entry work for a busy medical doctor.

 We have explained the problem with academic fraud to you before. Seems that you still simply can not grasp what is objectionable about fraud. Maybe it is your mindset, maybe it's just too complicated for you. Freelancers are indeed "free to choose to work on fraud" - as long as they accept the consequences. You are also "free to choose" to rob a bank...

 

The comparison of data entry for a doctor and academic fraud is too ridiculous for words, even by your standards...


And can you PLEASE try and learn how to trim the quoted text when you reply, rather than wasting acres of space with a wall of text with orange bits in it. Just trim the quote down to what you are addressing. I am sure you can figure out how to do that?

However you feel about the severity of this problem...

 

Upwork is making things worse by not providing specific, effective tools for identifying and reporting academic fraud posts.

 

Upwork itself and contractors interested in reporting such posts will spend LESS TIME and effort doing so if the proper tools are in place.

 

Too often I seen Upwork asking contractors to do a substantial quantity of free work involved in reporting these things. The process should be streamlined. The process should be more effective. The results should be faster.

Completley agree. It would be very easy for Upwork to do more automated reporting on dubious work assignemnts and then get them quickly removed. Currently all the onus is on freelancers to manually push these issues through the help desk. Flagging jobs appears to do almost nothing.

 

And it looks like the client I reported has finally been removed (after 4 homework assignments posted) so thanks Upwork.

The better developed the reporting/flagging tools are, the less effort contractors will have to put into using them, and the more likely that contractors will use them.

 

And the better developed the tools are, the less effort Upwork will need to expend to respond to problem job postings.

sivavranagaro
Member

I don't remember I have seen any post removed ever.

____________
Don't correct my grammar!

When I report scxam jobs, Upwork will tell me that action has been taken, but they wont say what type, because of privacy. But several times I have seen the link to the scam job dissappaer, so it must have been removed.

What happened to the good old days when people just hired the nerds in their dorm to write their essays??? Miscreants.

I still see uni home work posted here every week. Often the entire assignment is there as an attachment. In these cases, I have been writing to the lecturer who sets the assignment, as their name is usally within the text of the document or in it's properties, along with the uni's name.

 

It's worked well so far, jobs shut down within a day. If I report it to Upwork it takes much longer and the job is sometimes assigned before it can be closed down.

 

Hpefully this approach might lead to all students within these faculteis being warned off from paying for assignments.