Early this month, hundreds of students attending an online finance class at Texas A&M woke up to an unnerving email from the Aggie Honor System Office. Using Canvas, a management system that helps colleges regulate distance learning, administrators identified patterns of large-scale cheating activities on tests and quizzes.
The magnitude and frequency of the cheating – up 20% since last fall – prompted an investigation by school officials who found that digital sources claiming to help students with research were the culprit.
One website, Chegg.com, was the primary source of information. Chegg offers multiple educational resources like textbook rentals, flashcards, and tutoring services for school and college students. The website is a valuable asset for students who benefit from internship programs, tutorials, and prep materials. However, some students use the site for less-than-benign purposes, copying test answers verbatim and helping others cheat.
Cheating is Increasing with Distance Learning
Students who used Chegg to cheat cited the pandemic and the inability to access professors or study partners as their principal motivator for academic dishonesty. A&M University students aren't the only ones using these websites to cheat. Third-party companies that supervise remote exams around the country report a ten-fold surge in demand for their services. That number is increasing daily.
Professors are struggling to keep up with this growing phenomenon, claiming a lack of support from college administrations. Some take matters into their own hands, creating strategies and safeguards to deter students from participating in academic dishonesty.
Students should not have to suffer extreme punishments from ethics panels, especially if they are first-time offenders. Unfortunately, colleges sometimes punish students disproportionately, threatening their educational future.
Whether it's the uncertainty of distance learning or stress from the pandemic, lapses in judgment happen to students who otherwise have a solid academic record. Although these are extraordinary times, college administrations are cracking down harder on cheating due to cheating paranoia. Many students are facing extreme repercussions as a result.
Protecting a school's reputation and maintaining a fair playing ground is doubly-important to administrators nowadays. As a result, ethics panels are penalizing some students inordinately as a stern warning to others. These actions come at a great expense to the student, haunting them academically and even professionally in some cases.
What to Do When Facing Cheating Accusations
A cheating charge halts your academic progress and undoes years of effort and hard work. Arming yourself with the experience and knowledge of attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento increases your chances of a better case outcome.
Mr. Lento possesses a thorough knowledge of how offices of student conduct and honors and ethics panels conduct investigations and hearings, ensuring that they follow the protocols outlined in their Code of Conduct.
When you know what to expect, you can identify inequitable treatment and fight back with facts. Mr. Lento understands how the process works, boosting the investigation's transparency and your confidence during an interrogation.
Advisor Lento is available at 888-535-3686 for a confidential and thorough consultation. With his passion for helping students and their families navigate distressing cheating accusations, Mr. Lento works for the best possible outcome for every case.