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Ohio State Charges 83 Students With Using Group Chat To Cheat On Tests

Ohio State University's William Oxley Thompson Library.
Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is charging 83 students with code of conduct violations after they were caught sharing test answers in GroupMe, a text messaging app.

Kaylin Hynes, a staff reporter for The Lantern, says the scandal started out as a rumor before a teacher reported it to the Committee on Academic Misconduct, which launched an investigation.

She says the accused students have a few options going forward, and each might take a different path.

“They can either go ahead and admit to the charges and have disciplinary action, or they can have the right to a trial and go against the charges,” Hynes says.

The cheating happened in a large marketing class in the Fisher College of Business. Hynes says the size of the class and its position in the curriculum might mean the students’ action has severe consequences.

“They [might] have to retake the class, which is a prerequisite for another class they needed to graduate,” Hynes says. “So basically some people are risking graduation by cheating in this GroupMe.”

Though teachers admit cheating isn’t new, Hynes reports that technology is making it more ubiquitous. She said Ohio State has worked to integrate more technology into the classroom over the past few years, including online discussion groups for individual courses.

“[Ohio State] basically said that students need to understand that what you say online or in these group messages, whether it be on GroupMe or in a dorm, you have keep in mind that you have to obey student conduct and also the course’s rules,” Hynes says.

Clare Roth was former All Things Considered Host for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU in February of 2017. After attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she returned to her native Iowa as a producer for Iowa Public Radio.