Julia Lopez / Edge columnist

As a result of COVID-19 resulting in schools, many students around the world are now doing online learning. There are many resources for students to continue learning even if it cannot happen in person. But there are challenges that post-secondary students are facing during the pandemic. At universities and schools, cheating on online tests is on the rise.

According to the article “UBC accounting class told to redo midterm exam after students accused of cheating online.” by Eva Uguen-Csenge, several students at UBC had cheated on their midterm exam and the accounting class with over 600 students needed to retake.

After getting unclear instructions from their professor, Kyla Gunderson, and having to put in a lot of effort and time preparing for exams, many second-year students were upset. Expressing their dissatisfaction on social media with being required to retake the test, saying that those who did not cheat during the exam should not have to take it again after long hours of studying.

One furious student says, “I put in hard work. I’ve spent the money. I took extra time, hours actually, preparing for the midterm and now everything is gone.”

UBC students received emails from Professor Gunderson about academic misconduct that was found. She informed the class, “Anyone caught using external websites to solicit answers or those working together on the midterm will be disciplined accordingly.”

The professor likely intended that students use google to research for questions and do the work themselves but not the idea of using a site like Chegg, which calls for academic conduct. The news article mentioned that a couple of students used Chegg, which is a site where you can post a question, and someone answers it for you.

Since the exam was open book, the accounting class were not necessarily cheating and it was said that they could use anything, so the students did the right thing. Accountants do have to learn and refer to many documents because it is impossible to learn everything. Open book exams test students of their understanding of the material and not only their ability to understand things.

Because most classes are learning online, and not face-to-face, its hard to keep students from cheating on exams. Not being in a physical classroom makes it easier for cheating and academic misconduct. Teachers should be giving questions that are authentic, allows everyone to think hard and to create ethical tests.

It is very unfair to people who studied hard for an exam that was 30 percent of their final grade, and although the instructions were not clear, individuals and students should make responsible choices and prevent academic misconduct on exams.

Sources:

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed education forever. This is how

UBC accounting class told to redo midterm exam after students accused of cheating online

Covid-19 pandemic and online learning: the challenges and opportunities

More students cheating during online classes, universities say