Online Learning Platforms

Analyzing the Impact of Online Learning Platforms on Plagiarism Trends in Higher Education

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Online learning platforms are the next modern trend in higher education and are extremely popular for several reasons. Online learning is more convenient than regular college because you can access the course anytime and anywhere. It is significantly cheaper than classic education, hence accessible for regular students. Online platforms keep constantly developing to correspond to current trends and consequently offer students a more modern and useful curriculum.

However, online education certainly has several disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages of this education model is the intense focus on plagiarism by distance students, and combating plagiarism during distance learning becomes disproportionately more difficult. Tools such as the plagiarism detector make a feasible contribution to the fight against unoriginality, but the problem still persists. We will discuss the correlation between online learning and the increased risk of plagiarism, popular trends in plagiarism, and methods to cope with such trends.

The Benefits of Online Learning Platforms

  • Flexibility of self-paced learning. The ability to prioritize one’s schedule is a significant perk of online education. Users can complete assignments within a particular time range because the courses are self-paced. Students use a Learning Management System (LMS) to gain access to the courses, read the materials, and do the assignments. Apps for instant messaging, email, or online message boards facilitate communication between students and teachers.
  • Improved time management skills. You can prioritize chores with the help of time management. Most workers and employers believe that improved time management leads to less stress and increased productivity on the job.
  • Lower costs. Space rental or leasing for big organizations can get pricey quickly. You can totally avoid this cost by taking classes online. Digital resources are frequently available for free or very little cost when taking classes online.
  • Global access to resources and creative learning opportunities. With online education, students can tap into an abundance of materials. All it takes is a few clicks for users to access limitless resources. These resources include articles, blog entries, infographics, videos, and other media. Students also have more freedom to be creative while they study online.

Due to the constant development of technology, methods for obtaining new knowledge and plagiarism techniques are rapidly developing. Professors encountered the first great leap in this direction several decades ago, during the active and rapid development of the Internet. Knowledge that previously could only be found in university libraries or archives was suddenly available to the public. Even more than that, hundreds of thousands of students around the world suddenly had full access to tens of thousands of works published by their predecessors, ranging from essays and abstracts to dissertations and course projects.

Means of combating plagiarism in academic writing are also developing, but traditionally losing the ancient struggle between the shield and the spear. Defenses are developing reactively and, as a result, more slowly and smoothly. Today, university professors are already faced with new trends in plagiarism, the active development of which is directly influenced by the latest achievements in the field of AI and the emergence of an increasing number of online learning platforms.

  • AI-based writing. The development of AI-powered tools has decisively broken into the plagiarism meta and created a new trend. In a matter of weeks, clever developers have created and launched dozens of AI-powered services on the market, allowing students to generate a particular paper in one click. Fortunately, raw-generated content is usually low quality, and most detectors can check and identify low-quality raw-generated content. Suppose a student spends a lot of time processing and redoing the generated content. In that case, it can be problematic to locate such manipulation accurately. Still, completely processing AI content differs little from creating content from scratch.
  • Contract cheating. Another modern trend of plagiarism in education is ordering an essay or other paper from experts at a professional writing service. Although such platforms officially recommend using their expert samples as a model for a new paper, not all students faithfully follow such recommendations.
  • Content manipulation. This type of plagiarism is usually complicated to track down. Such plagiarism involves “smart cheating,” students take someone else’s work and carefully rework the content. Content manipulation is traditionally considered a gray area in plagiarism because it is almost impossible to prove such manipulation in most cases, and students are forced to understand the topic on their own while rewriting content.
  • Spyware. As technology develops, so do cheating methods. Due to the advent of smartphones, smartwatches, and earphones, it becomes more and more difficult to check whether the student is passing the test or cheating.
  • Online learning platforms. Thanks to popular and numerous online learning platforms, students can create papers in close collaboration with other members of their online groups or even directly consult individually with their curators. This approach cannot be classified as plagiarism, but online learning platforms also offer their students access to online archives of finished material.

How to Avoid Plagiarism in Today’s Online Learning 

Despite severe regulations and the disastrous repercussions of plagiarism in academia, studies show that many college students cheat. Even more alarming is that 54% of these people think cheating is essential for staying competitive.

Enforcing students’ academic integrity becomes more difficult for eLearning trainers. Exam cheating (such as using someone else’s work and then paraphrasing it to make it sound original or avoid copyright violation) goes unnoticed.

Promote Tools and Resources That Help to Avoid Plagiarism 

Making students aware of existing tools for checking plagiarism will likely encourage them to take the issue of plagiarism more seriously. In the best case, awareness of AI detectors and plagiarism checkers will enable students to take a more responsible approach and start working on their original papers from scratch. In the worst case scenario, unscrupulous students will begin to use these tools on their own. They will be forced to rewrite parts of the paper several times, and in the process, will inevitably be forced to understand the contents of the paper. Everyone wins at a distance.

There are many plagiarism-checking tools on the market today. We recommend using CopyLeaks among AI detectors since this detector perfectly balances a thorough check and a low number of false positives. You can also use convenient tools like or Grammarly to check a paper for plagiarism.

Teach Your Students to Control Integrity 

Academic honesty is a cornerstone of being a college student. When it comes to courses taken online, is it just as crucial? No matter the medium, being a responsible and forthright student is essential throughout the learning process. Their adherence to school regulations, such as the “Don’t cheat!” mentality, exemplifies academic integrity. When students learn online, this becomes the most problematic aspect of the concept.

The key way to combat plagiarism in distance learning is to cultivate students’ self-awareness consistently. If students understand the importance of independently working on a paper and mastering the curriculum, this will inevitably reduce the incidence of plagiarism in the long run.

Also Read: The Future of Online Reputation Management Tools



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