Do Professors Know if You Use Chegg?
Do professors know if you use Chegg? In many cases, yes, professors do know when students use Chegg to complete homework.
As you might guess, Chegg doesn’t go around sending emails to every prof whose students are using Chegg Study. However, there are some pretty clear giveaways when students are using Chegg to complete their homework, and some professors have sharp eyes when it comes to catching Chegg users.
Before we go further, you’re welcome to check out our comprehensive review of Chegg and its services, which answers many other frequently asked questions about Chegg.
Our article reviewing 5 ways students use Chegg Study to cheat in college is another useful read, as the cheating severity level has a dramatic effect on whether professors know if you use Chegg or not.
“I had a question in Chegg with incorrect answers (not my doing). Specifically, it had a lot of superfluous information for a relatively straightforward question… [this] made it real easy to find a group of students who used it.”
4 Ways Professors Know if You Use Chegg
We scoured the internet to get some real-life stories of professors finding out which students were using Chegg. It turns out the profs have quite a few tools up their sleeve once they actually suspect a student of cheating.
1. Submitting Strange Answers or Steps to Solve a Problem
Here are some of the ways that professors find out who has been using Chegg to complete homework assignments.
On the r/Professors subreddit (a forum for college professors, for those unfamiliar with Reddit), multiple profs shared their experiences finding Chegg cheaters.
Economics professor u/urnbabyurn shared a story of how Chegg’s steps and answers can sometimes be a clear giveaway:
“I had a question in Chegg with incorrect answers (not my doing). Specifically, it had a lot of superfluous information for a relatively straightforward question. E.g. “Define X” and the answer has a definition of some of X and Y.
“Made it real easy to find a group of students who used it. I went through the formal academic dishonesty process.”
As you can see, even if Chegg Study gives you a correct answer, it may have unusual steps that lead the professor to investigate. From there, a simple Google search can bring up Chegg’s name.
Even without a Google search, if multiple students submit a problem with the exact same (unusual) method, the professor will know that something fishy is going on.
2. Using Complex Methods to Solve a Simple Problem
In addition to unusual methods, complex methods are another sure giveaway. If you’re a freshman and you use a complex method you haven’t been taught in class to complete a project, the professor may ask you about it.
On the one hand, this is totally fine if you can explain how you learned about this method on your own and then implemented it on the homework.
On the other hand, if you just copied an answer from Chegg and can’t explain it at all, it will be clear that you cheated and simply copied an answer from some source.
This scenario can happen very easily with Chegg, because they have some very smart employees providing answers for students. For example, Forbes reported that Chegg employs over 70,000 experts in India (some with doctoral degrees) to answer students’ questions.
3. Doing Great on Homework and Failing Exams
If a student is getting straight As on their homework but failing exams, professors can catch on pretty quickly.
In general, any student who understands the material well enough to ace the homework will also have at least average exam results.
Some variance is to be expected, but if students continually get As on homework and Ds on exams, professors will know that something is going on.
4. Submitting Exact Answers from Chegg
Universities use advanced software to detect plagiarism, with Turnitin being the best-known software in this space.
If a professor puts your answer into Turnitin and you’ve copied Chegg’s answer closely, then Turnitin it likely to flag your answer for review.
As you can see, there are quite a few ways that cheating with Chegg can arouse a professor’s suspicion. Once a professor decides to investigate a student, there are more resources they can use to convict a student of cheating with Chegg.
What Information Will Chegg Give to Professors?
Once a professor suspects a student of using Chegg, they can contact Chegg to ask for information.
We aren’t certain of Chegg’s exact policy here, but there are anecdotal reports of Chegg handing over certain account information when universities request it.
Let’s head back to r/Professors for some another firsthand account of a professor investigating students on Chegg.
According to user caffeinated_tea, a chemistry prof, Chegg did provide a fair amount of information, and enough to open successful academic integrity complaints against at least two students.
This professor claimed that Chegg did not give IP addresses, and did not give information on students who viewed the answer to a particular problem.
For the submitting student, however, Chegg purportedly gave an impressive amount of information:
- The date and time the question was uploaded
- The date and time a Chegg expert answered the question
- The username of the student who uploaded the problem
- The email address of the student who uploaded the problem
- The name of the student who uploaded the problem
- The institution that the student’s account said they attended
- The expert solution to the problem
Another professor in the discussion thread claimed that Chegg also provided them with IP addresses. Others in the thread went so far as to claim that Chegg provided payment info such as the name on the credit card, but this was not proven.
With this information, many professors would be able to track down the specific student who asked a problem on Chegg Study.
This would not be true in all cases, as a student might use a non-identifying email address, lie about their name and school, and use a VPN to disguise their email address.
Even in that case, if Chegg did give a university the name on the credit card, a student could still be outed.
In another thread from 2021, a student claimed that Chegg provides all the profile information of not only the question-asker, but also all students who view a particular answer.
In short, cheating with Chegg is very dangerous business, and students are definitely not safe when professors or universities decide to crack down on Chegg usage.
What Happens if a Professor Catches You Using Chegg?
So what happens in the case that a professor suspects a student and then gathers confirming evidence from Chegg?
In short, it depends on whether the student’s actions broke the university’s academic integrity policy or student conduct code. If so, the university may take extreme measures against students, including expulsion.
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons not to cheat in college with Chegg, and a lot of questions around the topic. We’ve answered more common questions in our 5,000-word tome of a Chegg review, so check it out if you’re still curious.
We’ve also got plenty of other college resources to help you in your educational journey. For example, you can check out our rankings of the best accredited online colleges in America, or maybe you’re more interested in learning how to write outstanding scholarship essays.
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