On Thursday, March 6 the Toronto Star wrote:
First-year student Chris Avenir is fighting charges of academic misconduct for helping run an online chemistry study group via Facebook last term, where 146 classmates swapped tips on homework questions that counted for 10 per cent of their mark.
I think that in their quest to establish themselves as a proper University, Ryerson is being way too hard on this kid. I agree with their defense that the facebook group is no different than any other tutor or study group that exists in the real world (as opposed to the virtual world). As it says in the article, no full answers were ever posted in the facebook group forum, only discussions of ideas for solutions from students taking the courses. Not to mention, the assignments given to each student were different from one another which means that there was no issue of cheating in the first place. Yes, I realise that the reason for the individually different assignments is so that each student would complete the assignments individually and not as a group – but then why wouldn’t they issue the same charge to any students that conducted study groups in real life? I feel bad for the kid, and I hope he gets a break. He has a hearing this coming Tuesday to appeal the recommendation for expulsion.
What’s your take on it?