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Freelace Websites - A new way for students to cheat?

The last few years have seen the birth of freelance websites. I first heard about them at an accountancy conference while attending a talk given by the founder of Freelancer.

The aim behind Freelancer was very good, connecting businesses that needed work doing with freelancers who could do the work. Initially the idea was that there were many people in third world countries who could do the work at a fraction of the price than you would pay elsewhere but who would still, at the same time, be getting much more money than they could earn locally. In other words a win-win situation.

Of course over time this has developed with freelancers just as likely to be from the Western world.

However, as someone who keeps an eye on what freelance work is available, one of the things that I have been most surprised about is the number of “assignments” that are being put up for work. Now when I say assignments I am talking about students who are contracting out their study related assignments. Students, who instead of properly following their course and doing the work themselves, are actually paying other people to do it for them.

What I don’t understand is if someone is not prepared to do the work themselves, then why are they doing the study in the first place? How on earth does a student expect to learn their subject properly if they don’t do any of their assignments themselves? It would seem some students have found a new way to cheat. They no longer need to copy someone’s work they just pay for it to be done for them.

Concern has often been expressed at the number of young adults who leave school unable to read or write. Should we now be concerned about future graduates as to whether or not they actually know their subject?

Then of course there is the whole work ethic. If these students are too lazy to do their assignments themselves then what kind of employees will they make?

So while freelance websites are a great idea I just think it’s such a shame that there are cheating students out there taking advantage of them.