Jun 09, 2016 08:33 AM EDT
Ohio State University, one of United States' leading veterinary schools is now involved in cheating conspiracy that could bring about the suspension of 85 students.
After someone claimed that students had figured out a way to divvy up answers on online take-home tests, an investigation to look into the matter was initiated in February, university officials have divulged. Nearly 650 students are part of the four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program in Ohio State.
Keeping federal student-privacy laws in mind, officials remained mum about the discipline or the courses involved, however according to a written statement, punishment for unauthorized collaboration could either be a simple warning or suspension from the school in addition to receiving a zero on the aforesaid quiz or exam, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
The punishment was enforced by the Ohio State University's Student Judiciary Committee, while its decisions were backed by the college's Executive Committee.
A few of the disciplined students are now appealing their punishments to the provost's office.
Investigators delved into data from the aforementioned test, investigating where data were taken and the time students took to complete the tests in question. Investigators also scanned the sequence of correct and incorrect answers.
The Office of Academic Affairs is scanning other quizzes and tests conducted at the school using the same software as the said tests. The veterinary school even amended a few testing methods, Fox News reported.
The software was first used in 2014.
Following this incident, the college has understandably discontinued using the software for any quizzes or exams on which collaboration is restricted, and will no longer permit take-home tests on which collaboration is not allowed.
A written statement divulged the university's intention to make alterations to student orientation programs along with other training to emphasize on the honor code as well as "university-wide expectations for academic conduct." The school is also prepping new training for instructors on how to handle academic malpractice in the digital era.
In 2015, the university disciplined 24 students in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences after discovering that one student completed online coursework for the rest of 23 students for the sake of money.
Several scandals related to sharing answers on take-home tests have been discovered recently. Harvard University, back in 2012 revealed that it was inspecting 125 students charged with collaboration on a similar test. This episode stirred conversations about whether the existing attention on working in teams have actually made students' understanding of what constitutes cheating vague.
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