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Multiple Students at Dartmouth Medical School Accused of Cheating

Multiple Students at Dartmouth Medical School Accused of Cheating

“accused of cheating on remote tests while in-person exams were shut down because of the coronavirus”

This is one of the reasons we need to get back to full in-person classroom learning.

From the New York Times, via Yahoo News:

Online Cheating Charges Upend Dartmouth Medical School

Sirey Zhang, a first-year student at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, was on spring break in March when he received an email from administrators accusing him of cheating.

Dartmouth had reviewed Zhang’s online activity on Canvas, its learning management system, during three remote exams, the email said. The data indicated that he had looked up course material related to one question during each test, honor code violations that could lead to expulsion, the email said.

Zhang, 22, said he had not cheated. But when the school’s student affairs office suggested he would have a better outcome if he expressed remorse and pleaded guilty, he felt he had little choice but to agree. Now he faces suspension and a misconduct mark on his academic record that could derail his dream of becoming a pediatrician.

“What has happened to me in the last month, despite not cheating, has resulted in one of the most terrifying, isolating experiences of my life,” said Zhang, who has filed an appeal.

He is one of 17 medical students whom Dartmouth recently accused of cheating on remote tests while in-person exams were shut down because of the coronavirus. The allegations have prompted an on-campus protest, letters of concern to school administrators from more than two dozen faculty members and complaints of unfair treatment from the student government, turning the pastoral Ivy League campus into a national battleground over escalating school surveillance during the pandemic.

At the heart of the accusations is Dartmouth’s use of the Canvas system to retroactively track student activity during remote exams without their knowledge.


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There is even more cheating going on with students trying to get into medical school. When I was a pre-med adviser, it was common knowledge that several prep schools would have future pre-med students go to a certain shrink and get labeled “learning-disabled” or whatever the current PC term is. I often got these students in my classes.

That would allow those students to have an extra 50% time on all their college tests, and the professors (me, for example) were forbidden to mention the fact on their recommendations. I rarely saw any of these students who were really “learning-disabled.” Besides, even if they were, who wants a doctor who needs 50% extra time to try to save your life?

    henrybowman in reply to OldProf2. | May 12, 2021 at 5:55 am

    Over 50% of voting-age Americans.
    Oh wait — it’s his wife who’s the doctor. Never mind.

Swamp Survivor | May 13, 2021 at 11:59 am

Maybe I missed something, but it seems there is little due process at Dartmouth.

Correct me if I am wrong, but the news article suggests the school previously had some indications of cheating by students taking these remote tests, and the school established a system to monitor students’ internet activity when they are taking the exam. Personally, if that is the extent of the school’s monitoring, I do not see much problem — it is analogous of having a proctor in a room when the school administers an in-person examination, as most exams were formerly administered.

On the other hand, the school seems to have conducted the investigation and reached both a conclusion of cheating and the school’s remedy before allowing the student to respond, although the student has a right to “appeal” the schools decisions.

Its possible the news article had not provided the details, and if so, I would want to know what is the due process in these cases.

In any event, why did Dartmouth continue an examination practice it knew could be easily corrupted? Sounds like mail-in voting practices, which for years states have known would lead to fraud.