With Covid-19, everything changes.
Working in the office became (mostly) working from home. Face-to-face lessons became Zoom lessons and tests shifted online.
Now, what happens if the school catches some students cheating on their tests?
Will they fail them? Make them redo the test? Or get everybody to redo the test?
Turns out, SIM-RMIT is going for the third option.
SIM-RMIT Students Have to Retake Their Online Exams ‘Coz Some Students Cheated
On 10 Jun, Facebook user Jasper Quak took to the social media platform to express his views about SIM-RMIT’s decision.
While he is not taking the module, he said that he can empathise with the students, especially those who are working and studying concurrently.
He explained that because a few students were caught cheating on a SIM-RMIT exam on 4 May, the school is forcing the entire cohort to retake the paper.
The students received their results on 28 May and found out that the particular module was graded as ‘Results Not Finalised’, and an additional assessment has to be taken for valid results.
Details of the additional assessment will be revealed on 15 June 2020 and it has to be completed within “48 hours”.
The shortened time for completion is supposedly a deterrence to cheating.
He pointed out that the school is taking the “easy way out” and is trying to “resolve the issue in the shortest time possible”.
He ended off his post saying that his intention is not to shame the school, but he hopes that both SIM and RMIT can “reconsider their decision and make things right for all students”.
The School’s Side Of The Story:
According to Jasper, a school lecturer has compiled all of the students’ complaints and made an FAQ:
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You can find out more in the screenshots he has posted but here’s a TL; DR:
The reason why the entire cohort is being made to retake the assessment is to ensure students meet course requirements and maintain quality standards.
Only getting the cheating students to retake the test will not resolve the “equity” issue.
It was added that the breach that occurred this time was “significant” enough to get the entire cohort back for a re-test.
When students asked who committed the breach, the question wasn’t answered but the school assured that actions have been taken.
As for why students were only notified almost a month later, the school said it was only made aware of the breach “in the last two weeks” and had to investigate carefully first before making a decision.
Students who opt-out of the additional task will not be able to complete the course as their assessment takes up 50% of their final grades.
For those who have prior commitments and are unable to take the assessment on the 15th, they’ll have to make an alternative arrangement with the course coordinator.
As for complaints that 7 days isn’t enough for students to prepare for a re-assessment, they assure that no new materials will be tested and they’ll only need the skills and knowledge gained during their course and preparation for the first assessment in the retake.
Not The First High-Profile Cheating Case During Covid-19
Back in Mar 2020, NUS also had several students share answers among themselves when taking an online exam for a module.
An investigation was launched and answers were scrutinised tirelessly by instructors for plagiarism.
Some students were caught while others stepped forward to confess after an email by their lecturer went out.
NUS policy dictates that students who plagiarise or aid and abet such actions may be subject to disciplinary action.
“In addition, the student may receive a reduced grade, possibly even a zero mark, for the relevant academic assignment, project or thesis, and could receive a failed grade for the module,” said the spokesman.
“Any student caught plagiarizing will be required to retain the plagiarised module as graded.”
However, the difference between NUS’s and the SIM-RMIT’s incidents is the grade composition of the exam.
For NUS, the test takes up 15% of the students’ final grade while for SIM-RMIT, it’s 50%.
Back then, NUS said it will be “extra careful” not to accuse innocent students of plagiarising.
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