An online black market offering bespoke essay writing services - often for hundreds of dollars - is continuing to thrive in Singapore, despite warnings from schools that students caught paying for their grades could be expelled.
Rates start at $100 for 1,000 words - excluding additional charges if it is a last-minute job - with some online advertisements guaranteeing students from polytechnics and universities here at least a B grade.
A Straits Times check found at least 30 users on online marketplaces like Carousell and Gumtree hawking such services, as well as three websites aimed at Singapore students, offering to complete assignments for a fee.
Some sellers appear to be based overseas, though most appear to be local students or working adults.
In addition to doing essays on subjects like business, healthcare, marketing and economics for polytechnic and university students, they say they can complete coursework for project work at the A levels.
Students can request revisions of essays, and are promised that the work will be plagiarism-free to avoid detection.
There are also posts offering to finish coursework for art at the N and O levels, and programming assignments for computer science.
A seller on Carousell claimed on his page that he has completed more than 1,000 essays in the past two years, with several reviewers on the page endorsing his work.
Sellers promise that the students' identities will be kept private and ask them to use dummy Carousell and e-mail accounts.
One student, who appeared to be from a degree or diploma programme under private school SIM Global Education (GE), said in a review that she had received 93 out of 100 marks for an "outsourced" essay, which was completed in a day.
Another student posted on Carousell, offering $150 for help with a business assignment from private school Kaplan Singapore.
A polytechnic graduate, who declined to be named, said she and two friends paid for essays in their design-based marketing and communications subjects. "We would get at least a B, which is quite good since design courses are hard," she said.
Assistant Professor Ryan Hong of the National University of Singapore's psychology department said students may resort to these services as they feel "overwhelmed by academic demands".
Others may be "not particularly interested in intrinsic learning and see getting a degree as something they need to do in order to pave the way for their future career".
Kaplan and SIM GE said a student who passes off another's work as his own can face penalties ranging from marks deduction to expulsion.
Mr Rhys Johnson, senior vice- president and provost of Kaplan Singapore, said it has processes to detect cheating. For example, a student who scores highly in coursework but gets a low exam mark will be flagged.
Teachers must also authenticate candidates' coursework before submission, said the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board.
However, cases of students getting others to do their assignments are hard to prove. SIM GE said it has not come across any.
One anonymous local essay service provider, in his 30s, said he ensures the content matches the required depth of knowledge for the students' grade level, and tells them to edit his work so it matches their style and level of understanding.
Each piece of work costs between $180 and $600, and he gets an average of about two inquiries a month. He does not think of his work as unethical, saying: "We only wish to ease the burden of schoolwork and not to help students pass one assignment after another, which would give some an unfair advantage."
Carousell said it has not received any feedback from schools about such services, and it will work with the authorities if it is required to.
The astonishing advancement in technology has left no bars to surprise every individual on the earth. The work and activities that were limited to our imagination are now successfully executed by effort and creativity of some researchers, developers and engineers.
Presently, we have devices and equipment’s that are created after much of brainwork thus simplifying every single task. Most importantly the development in technology has not only boosted the progress of individual but also helped the nation to obtain solutions for unsolved mysteries.
Just like any other field of human interest, Technology has also proved to be of great advantage for college and university students. The launch of “Chromebook Tools as Timeline Marker” is one of the best examples to explain the use of technology in education. These educational Chromebook tools are very simple and easy to use, thus serving great advantages to students in every level of college life. Though earlier timeline was drawn using pen and paper, now with the advancement in technology, the job has become very simple reducing the extra effort of students and teachers.
Presently, there is a number of timeline maker tools, but the below mentioned offers basic to advanced level functions and therefore can be used depending on your requirements.
Selected as the top educational resource in the classroom, this tool allows creating timeline thus paving way for improvement in learning. This tool helps to create templates that can be easily modified and reused thus bringing improvement in proficiency level of students. HSTRY is a great tool that can be used for the preparation of the visual presentation, classroom discussions, assignments, tests etc. With this educational tool, students are allowed to structure their thoughts and present it in the visual form in the simplest possible ways. Moreover, this educational tool permits creativity by allowing the student to put every event in chronological order, therefore, making the learning process easy.
Some of the features that can be used in HSTRY Tool are
- Creating timelines.
- Commenting on the created timeline.
- Interaction of students and teachers through the created
- Helps in the assessment of student knowledge through quizzes.
- Allows addition of images, audios and videos.
- Students are allowed to channel across a number of educational contents on different topics and courses.
HSTRY can be used easily without any effort or confusions. You can sign in as a teacher or a student. Once done, the second step is choosing the timeline of your choice. After completing this step, you can finally begin creating your timeline adding images and videos depending on your requirement. Also through this educational tool, teachers are able to assess student’s timeline and save it. They can also create a classroom and add up to 200 students.
Therefore this educational tool is very helpful in creating an online classroom that enhances student’s knowledge, foster creativity and hence permits interactive learning environment.
This is another Chromebook tool that again helps in creating interactive online classroom through its eye-catching features. This pedagogical tool allows you to embed multimedia features in your timeline. Therefore, you can create meaning out of events and peoples life.
There are 2 types of versions are available 1. Free version 2. Paid version
- In the free version of this timeline, images, audio and videos can be added whereas using the paid version allows the addition of 3D features in your work.
- Moreover, the free version of this tool has some other limitations as well. Only one timeline is allowed and the created timeline cannot be engraved in the user website.
- For free users, the feature of group edit is not enabled and only maximum of 200 events are allowed in the timeline. The desktop version is available for Mac OSX and windows. Rest all the other options for creating the timeline- formatting, editing, sharing, securing etc. are available in this tool.
The only problem using this tool is that there is no visual demonstration of every tabs and function. So, if the student is using it for the first time, it may take few hours or days to properly understand this tool.
This is simplest and basic Chromebook tool for creating a timeline. Using this tool you can represent data or events in a graphical format and in the chronological method. The steps are very simple. You can just go the page and create the timeline mentioning the name of the project and your own name. You can then start creating your timeline arranging the information in the well-organized format in accordance with date, time and event. You are also allowed to add images to your work. But unfortunately, you aren’t able to add audios and videos. The completed work can be saved it in the form of a draft for future modification and if you are sure that the timeline is fully complete, you can either print it or save it on your laptop or PC for use whenever required.
Using this Chromebook tools, students and teachers can create a timeline that makes the educational process simpler and easy. Whether its memorization of important dates in history or creating a discussion on the particular topic; everything can be effortlessly done using any of this timeline tool.
Get the idea on three most important Chromebook tools that are used as educational timeline maker.
education help, learning online, student tips