Applying a Holistic Approach to Contract Cheating: A Canadian Response

Keywords: academic integrity, academic misconduct, contract cheating, essay mills, higher education, postsecondary education, plagiarism, Ontario, Canada, holistic approach, quality assurance


This paper traces the development of a contract cheating action plan, introduced by the Academic Integrity Council of Ontario (AICO), Canada. The action plan offers a holistic response to contract cheating, involving multiple and diverse stakeholders from postsecondary education. Created by an AICO subcommittee, three of its founding members detail the action plan and provide a perspective on its strengths, challenges, and ongoing implementation.

Author Biography

Emma Thacker, University of Toronto

Emma Thacker is an administrator at the University of Toronto, specializing in governance, policy and ombuds work. She has held several positions to support institutional quality assurance, academic integrity and quasi-judicial affairs. Emma is a doctoral student in the School of Social, Political and Global Studies, at Keele University, United Kingdom. Her thesis work focuses specifically on academic literacies and contract cheating. Emma is also an active member of the Academic Integrity Council of Ontario (AICO), and has research interests in higher education policy and academic integrity education.


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