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Understanding Student Experiences with Commercial Contract Cheating and Other Outsourcing Behaviours

This research project involved a collaboration between the Alberta Council on Academic Integrity (ACAI) and Bow Valley College. The research explored post-secondary student experiences of contract cheating and stress students encounter while completing their programs.


Purpose: The primary goal of the project was to better understand post-secondary student experiences of contract cheating and the stress students encounter while completing their programs.

Methods: Survey research methodology, using well-established measures from contract cheating research and research on the stress process were used to collect closed and open-ended responses from career program learners in a community college in Alberta. Responses were collected in Survey Monkey, an online survey tool, from 916 participants in October 2021.

Results: Survey results overall indicated student involvement in contract cheating. Differences between commercial contract cheating and sharing behaviour were revealed. High levels of stress were reported, and type of stress varied across contract cheating behaviour.

Implications: The results of this study add to the continually growing body of knowledge of academic integrity in Canada. They will also expand on knowledge of the stress students experience and the personal and social resources they have access to while completing their programs and how this may relate to contract cheating.

Key Words: contract cheating, academic integrity, academic dishonesty, plagiarism, stress

This resource is available as a free downloadable resource:

PDF – Ferguson et al. 2022-compressed.pdf

Authors: Ferguson, Corrine; Toye, Margaret; Carver, Christina; Pictin, Tonisha; Eaton, Sarah Elaine; Boisvert, Sheryl

Cite this resource as:

Ferguson, C. D., Toye, M. A., Carver, C., Pictin, T., Eaton, S. E., & Boisvert, S. (2022). Understanding Student Experiences of Commercial Contract Cheating and Other Outsourcing Behaviours – Research Report. Calgary: Bow Valley College.

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