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Georgia Tech Suspects Cheating in Online Physics Exam

Georgia Tech Suspects Cheating in Online Physics Exam

“We are aware of the situation and are, of course, disappointed that students were involved with cheating through a digital homework site”

A similar situation is unfolding at Boston University.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

Georgia Tech warns physics students who cheated: Admit it or risk failing

The Georgia Tech campus is buzzing about the allegation that students in a physics class posted questions from their final exam to the online tutoring service Chegg where tutors provided answers.

“We are aware of the situation and are, of course, disappointed that students were involved with cheating through a digital homework site,” said Renee Kopkowski , Tech’s vice president of institute communications Thursday evening. “We are addressing it in conjunction with the Office of Student Integrity. At this point, we have offered students a chance to come forward admitting their misconduct on this exam, and we are working to determine if others are involved.”

In a letter from Tech, physics students were told: “It has come to our attention that a small fraction of students cheated by using solutions posted on Chegg. We take the honor code seriously here at Georgia Tech where we aim to develop not only the next generation of scholars and engineers, but future leaders of good character. We are incredibly disappointed; and at the same time we are trying not to become too cynical. “

The letter — see it below — says the College of Science and Georgia Tech Legal is working with Chegg to figure out which Tech students accessed the tutoring site during the final exam — for which there was a 24-hour completion window — and cross-correlating it with the time students were on the testing platform, Gradescope. If the times overlap, students could end up with an F.

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Comments

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 2, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Well DUH.

Welcome to Charmin TP Papermill University.

Who the hell would allow students 24 hours for a final exam? Ridiculous.

    healthguyfsu in reply to hrhdhd. | May 2, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    It is foolish to give that much freedom, but there was a lot of pressure from university admins to take it easy on students who may be facing technical difficulties due to stay at home orders.

    For my experience:
    -A lot of students “panicked” when this happened and elected P/F for a course where they would have earned a B or better. Many lack self-confidence because they haven’t been challenged enough in their K-12 education. That’s an unfortunate side effect of our coddle culture.
    -My students had the testing period of a normal class to complete all of their test except essays, which were available as take home for the rest of the day. While they were now open book, they are much harder to cheat on because they require synthesis from multiple chapters and/or parts of a chapter
    -I didn’t see an uptick in essay scores, but I saw a decent increase in the timed portion scores that raised my class average about 5-6 points. I definitely suspect cheating but have no way to prove it (it’s not widespread enough for a chegg and legal investigation like GT). I tried every online proctoring resource available to me. Most were either too expensive for the school/student and/or they just failed miserably in their execution. There is definitely a dearth on programs that can do things like:
    -prevent someone from opening other tabs and looking at other sites during a test
    -lock down a cell phone for a limited time period
    -share many webcams and/or screens simultaneously without glitching out

      hrhdhd in reply to healthguyfsu. | May 4, 2020 at 9:55 am

      I guess it depends on what “a 24-hour completion window” means.

      My students had 5 days to access and take their final, to account for wacky schedules and the like, but once they opened it, they had two hours. And I had them answering questions that they wouldn’t be able to look up. Could they have been on the phone with someone? Sure, but from the answers I saw, they weren’t. 😉

      If “a 24-hour completion window” means once they opened it, they could keep it open for 24 hours, then that’s just dumb.

Sounds like nearby stores need to lock up their wares when these students are around. Either the students have integrity or they don’t. It should not require a number of “safeguards” to protect the integrity of the system from the *lack* of integrity of the students. I don’t want these people designing whatever if my well-being depends on them.

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