The company saw its share price halve in May this year after admitting that ChatGPT had hurt its revenue and subscriber growth.
Deakin University assessments expert Professor Phillip Dawson said Chegg is working hard to position itself as a legitimate student aid website.
“I think if you’re marketing yourself as a legitimate support service, there’s a risk that students will think it’s okay to use them,” he said.
Dawson said that while Chegg cannot currently be characterized as a fraudulent website, it is undisputed that many students use Chegg to cheat.
In its latest academic misconduct report, the University of Sydney said it had developed a bot to detect university assessment questions with requests posted on Chegg.com in response to increasing reports of fraud in use of the site.
But in late 2022, Chegg stopped providing IP credentials, making it difficult for the university to identify specific students who posted.
A spokeswoman for the University of UNSW said the institution is concerned that companies, including Chegg, are now more likely to target students directly through social media platforms. According to the 2021 Academic Misconduct Report, 257 of the 335 contract fraud cases involved students who submitted questions to be answered on Chegg.com.
The University of Wollongong is among the institutions that have blocked the website on their server and discouraged students from signing up for the service.
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) wrote to universities earlier this year saying it was concerned some of the site’s features were being used “to get solutions to assessment tasks.” [students] are obliged to act personally”.
It has yet to be determined if Chegg violates Australia’s anti-cheating laws, which TEQSA has used to block 150 commercial contract fraud service websites.
Dawson said finding Chegg to be a fraudulent service would have greater repercussions than any action taken against those services.
“The scope of Chegg’s usage is much larger than the scope of other sites,” he said.
Chegg.com said it takes academic integrity seriously and uses a variety of marketing channels — including social media — to promote its services worldwide.
“We are confident that students who use Chegg Study as intended, in accordance with our Terms of Service and Code of Ethics, will also do so within the broadest academic integrity guidelines,” said a spokeswoman.
“We’ve also launched a free tool in Australia called the Honor Shield, which allows professors to pre-submit questions and prevent them from being visible on the Chegg platform for a period of time.”
Gomez, Zhu and Rav have all been contacted for comment.
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