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Boston University investigates cheating after physics and chemistry students ‘checked answers’

Boston University investigates cheating scandal after physics and chemistry students ‘used Chegg tutoring service to check exam answers online’ while studying from home due to coronavirus

  • The university is trying to determine if students have used tutoring service Chegg, and other online resources, to see if they can get test answers 
  • BU officials stress that the same standard and policies for classrooms, apply online 
  • Chegg is a $14.95-a-month subscription service that offers online tutors that help students with homework 
  • Students can send tutors photos asking questions and getting an answer that includes a complete explanation. 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Boston University is investigating whether students in chemistry and physics classes cheated on quizzes and exams that they are taking online because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The university is trying to determine if students have used tutoring service Chegg, and other online resources, to see if they can get test answers while taking them.

The potential cheating scandal is bringing up one particular issue college across the country could run into as they deal with their new reality under COVID-19. 

The university is trying to determine if students have used tutoring service Chegg, and other online resources, to see if they can get test answers

Chegg is a $14.95-a-month subscription service that offers online tutors that help students with homework

Chegg is a $14.95-a-month subscription service that offers online tutors that help students with homework

BU officials stress that the same standard and policies for classrooms, apply online. 

‘The conduct code clearly spells out the university’s expectations and policies, and all aspects of it remain in effect with the shift to remote learning,’ BU spokesman Colin Riley said, the Boston Globe reports. ‘The investigation into this particular issue is active and underway.’ 

It is unknown how officials were informed of the potential cheating.   

'The conduct code clearly spells out the university's expectations and policies, and all aspects of it remain in effect with the shift to remote learning,' BU spokesman Colin Riley said

‘The conduct code clearly spells out the university’s expectations and policies, and all aspects of it remain in effect with the shift to remote learning,’ BU spokesman Colin Riley said

Chemistry professor Binyomin Abrams sent an email to his class on Saturday warning them that he had become aware of students cheating on quizzes.  

‘We have learned that some of you have used various means, including websites such as Chegg, to get help during the quizzes given remotely,’ Abrams wrote. ‘Doing so is a clear violation of the academic conduct code.’

The professor shared that the university was working with Chegg to ‘identify students who have participated in this cheating, either directly or using Chegg to view solutions to our questions on our quizzes.’

Abrams described the situation as an ‘aberration.’ He has been conducting classes via video-conference in an empty BU lecture hall.  

‘My colleagues and I knew the transition to remote teaching would present new challenges,’ Abrams said. The professor acknowledged that students were under a lot of pressure and stress since their lives have been upended by the virus. 

The school is allowing students to take the class for credit or no credit at all, instead of letter grades, in an attempt to help them adjust. 

Chemistry professor Binyomin Abrams sent an email to his class on Saturday warning them that he had become aware of students cheating on quizzes

Chemistry professor Binyomin Abrams sent an email to his class on Saturday warning them that he had become aware of students cheating on quizzes

Faculty still expects students to behave ethically, the professor added.  

‘Online learning presents challenges in conducting assessments that are not the same as in the classroom,’ Abrams said. ‘I’ll leave it at that.’ 

Chegg is a $14.95-a-month subscription service that offers online tutors that help students with homework. 

Students can send tutors photos asking questions and getting an answer that includes a complete explanation. 

Students can send tutors photos asking questions and getting an answer that includes a complete explanation

Students can send tutors photos asking questions and getting an answer that includes a complete explanation

Spokesman Marc Boxser said Chegg could not comment on any specific investigation. The company has come under fire in the past for helping students cut corners on their work.  

‘Chegg strongly supports academic integrity and partners with every institution that approaches us as part of their official investigations into these matters,’ Boxser said.

He added that the company has not seen a relative increase in honor code issues since the coronavirus pandemic closed American school campuses.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk