The Chronicle of Higher Education recently posted a story that involved Adams State University, a small public university in Colorado, in which they revealed that the school was offering distance courses that were used by Division I athletes to fraudulently achieve eligibility to play. Not only did the courses appear to offer an unacceptably low amount of rigor, but in many cases the players weren’t even doing the work. A “tutor” was doing all the work. Fortunately, the story at least suggests that the school was not aware of the fraud.
Now, the school has announced that it has canceled one of the courses and will be reviewing policies to prevent this from happening again. I would guess that this kind of fraud is going to be very difficult to prevent unless distance education programs require students to show up in person for exams and heavily weight grades by exams to prevent cheating on homework.