3 Internet Cheating Scandals of the Last Decade
By Alison at University Language
Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2011
From online shopping to social networking, the internet has made our lives easier in many ways — but it’s also causing problems in the academic world as many students are turning to internet cheating.
Internet cheating and plagiarism scandals at colleges have gotten a lot of attention over the past decade.
It’s hard to say whether students are cheating more due to the easy access to information provided by the internet, or whether the cheating is just getting easier to catch thanks to the internet and other technologies.
In any case, an overview of some of the juiciest US cheating scandals of the past decade reveals that nobody – from the football quarterback to the future business school superstar – is immune to the temptation to cheat.
1. University athletes forfeit wins because of internet cheating.
In 2008, 61 Florida State University athletic team members – ranging from swimmers to football players – were found to have cheated on an online exam for a music history course. The athletes were given answers to the internet-based exam by a tutor.
The cheating scandal resulted in the NCAA’s penalizing FSU, which was forced to forfeit a number of athletic wins from the 2006-7 season, as well as individual records and even a national men’s track and field title.
Imagine how angry their teammates must have been!
2. Professors’ internet sting catches cheaters in the act.
After hearing rumors of students cheating on midterms, professors at University of Maryland’s business school decided to fight fire with fire, using the internet to catch internet cheaters on an accounting exam.
Before the test, the professors posted a fake answer key (with wrong answers) on their website. Students who used cell phones or PDAs to access the answers during the exam, or to text with classmates who had access to the answer key, were busted when their answers matched up with those on the website. Twelve cheating students got an automatic F.
3. Website gives GMAT test-takers the answers ahead of time.
Remember that really bad movie, “The Perfect Score,” where a bunch of high school students decide to steal the answers to the SAT? That actually happened. Well, sort of. In real life, it was potential US MBA students trying to score high on the GMAT – and they didn’t actually steal a copy of the test.
Many students found that the internet test site ScoreTop was posting “live” GMAT questions – with answers – meaning that test-takers could find out the answers to at least some questions before the test began. In the end, 72 students had their scores canceled after it was revealed that they had accessed the live questions.
The students who had memorized the questions and tried to lend their fellow GMAT test-takers a helping hand by posting the questions/answers to the website had their scores canceled, got a three year ban on taking the GMAT – and ruined their MBA plans.
All of which goes to show you — internet cheating (and cheating in general!) is not a good way to go.