Boston University says students taking online exams may have cheated

The university is working with Chegg, the online tutoring website, to identify the students who may have used the service during exams.

Boston University is investigating after students allegedly cheated on assessments that were moved online because of the coronavirus.

Boston University is investigating after students allegedly cheated on quizzes and tests that were administered online as part of the move to remote learning because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to The Boston Globe, the university is looking into the use of online resources, particularly a tutoring website called Chegg, during the assessments. The paper also reported that the cheating occurred in chemistry and physics courses.

Chegg provides question and answer solutions to commonly used test and quiz questions. A subscription, which costs $14.95 per month, gives users access to “over 21 million” solutions to questions and problems.  A university spokesperson confirmed the investigation was underway and stressed that the school’s code of conduct remains in effect during online learning. 

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“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,” the spokesperson, Colin Riley, said. “The investigation into this particular issue is active and underway.”

A Chegg spokesperson did not comment on the investigation, but said that the company “strongly supports academic integrity.” The spokesperson added that Chegg works with colleges and universities that approach the company during investigations. 

[Harvard to professors: Just ‘trust’ students not to cheat on exams]

Some BU professors have already noticed potential academic misconduct. BU chemistry professor Binyomin Abrams warned his students in a recent email that there are consequences to violating the student code of conduct. 

“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 said. “Doing so is a clear violation of the academic conduct code.”

Abrams also claimed that the university and Chegg are working to “identify students who have participated in this cheating.”

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