Join myFT Daily Digest to be the first to know about Education issues.
In the blue corner: Pearson, a former, former Financial Times owner, book publisher who is hated by many teachers, is now led by former Walt Disney boss Andy Bird.
In the red corner: Chegg, a shining “edtech”, living in Silicon Valley, led by former Yahoo co-ordinator Dan Rosensweig.
Chegg started as a book-rental business before going online, similar to Netflix’s pivot from DVDs to promotions. And like Netflix, marketers are thrilled with the rapid growth and repetition of revenue. In contrast, Pearson, who made a profit from the printing business, soon developed digital. Last year, young Chegg surpassed the 177-year-old Pearson market price.
Companies that struggle to innovate often go to court to harass others. But in any case, Pearson’s case illustrates a difficult truth about Chegg: and helping students steal.
With Chegg’s answers to the right questions in Pearson’s heavy homes, students are able to do their homework without learning. Instead of doing the full study, medical students simply need to know their ‘CTRL-C and CTRL-V keyboards.
Chegg says many of his answers show their effectiveness in helping students understand, not just repeat. It also states that this method of study is very useful for students from poor countries, who may be working in child care and lack the opportunity to teach.
But it’s the epidemic that provides support for Chegg’s business, which now has 6.6m people who sign up to pay $ 14.95 a month, as well as new fraud opportunities. In addition to his bank account answers to textbook questions, Chegg allows students to submit introductory questions and be answered by an expert “in as little as 30 minutes”.
Mu paper published in February, Thomas Lancaster, head of computing teaching at Imperial College London, found that the number of questions submitted to Chegg in five courses had risen 196 percent between April and August 2019 and immediately after one year, according to the epidemic. -going online updates. He said the climb would be used for tests taking place at a distance.
Chegg disputes this and notes that, along with many other digital businesses, he has only had the courage to change the course of the internet. It also says it works with academic institutions to investigate potential abuses.
To prevent fraud, the group has set up a project called “Honor Shield”, which allows universities to submit test questions to Chegg. The company will block answers to these questions. Some students, however, say they do not want to give away the experimental secrets to the company to which the merchants respond.
Another visual weapon against Chegg is the universal combination. The company allows students to track their records to “identify theft”. Its purpose is to prevent unwanted theft.
However, as Lancaster put it: “If a student can use this skill then he can use it to try to avoid their presence [by making] which they take very differently. ”
Where are we going? There may be a temporary change this year when most tests are administered in person. Chegg is also on the rise: adding some of his own teaching and making it less dependent on students to cheat.
But more weapons from Chegg and its competitors continue to be used. This means the frustrating competition for technology between students and colleges, and the development of new jobs to provide supervision of test takers via webcams and smart solutions to reduce theft.
Many wrong behaviors go unnoticed. As Lancaster put it: “When a student cheats well and picks someone who knows what he’s doing and gets the right answers, nothing seems wrong.”