When it comes to online courses, the name of the game–and big time, at that–is cheating. As Derek Newton recently reported in The Atlantic, “The growth in courses available on the Web has led to a growth in paid services that will impersonate students and do the work for them.”

Such “service” organizations are advertised all over the Internet advising that help in the form of “digital cheaters” is available for the hiring. They’ll literally take your place, assuming your identity and taking the entire course for you–for a price, of course.

Newton reached out to one such company, this one called No Need to Study, and asked if one of their people could take an online Columbia University English lit course. The response arrived in the affirmative, together with the promise of a “B” or better, all for the cost of $1,225.15.

So there you go. Massive Open Online Courses, aka MOOCs, continue to increase in popularity, with students all over the country signing up and fulfilling college credit requirements from the comfort of their homes, apartments, or dorms. But at some point, you’ve got to wonder who is sitting there and tapping away at the computer keys…

Some call it progress. You, too?