Ohio State accuses 83 students of cheating in a business class


Jennifer Smola, The Columbus Dispatch



COLUMBUS (TNS) — Dozens of students at Ohio State University are accused of cheating on graded assignments in a business course using a group messaging app last school year.

An investigation by Ohio State’s Committee on Academic Misconduct resulted in 83 undergraduate students charged with violations of the school’s code of student conduct, the university said in a statement.

A professor reported in the allegations against the students, who were enrolled in a Fisher College of Business course, in April. The charges include “unauthorized collaboration on graded assignments,” the university’s statement said.

The students allegedly used GroupMe, a free group messaging app available on multiple phones and tech devices that supports calendar and document sharing.

According to Ohio State’s Code of Student Conduct, violations can result in punishment that ranges from a formal reprimand to a suspension to dismissal from the university, in severe cases. Sanctions for unauthorized collaboration can also include grade penalties.

Students charged with academic misconduct violations may accept responsibility for the charge or request a hearing before the Committee on Academic Misconduct.

The Code of Student Conduct applies to academic misconduct whether it happens on or off campus, in a classroom, or online, Ohio State spokesman Ben Johnson said in an email.

“Students are welcome to use social media tools like GroupMe to communicate with classmates but must remember that the rules are the same for online and in-person interactions,” he said.

Sharing a due date for a homework assignment is fine, Johnson said, but sharing the answers to a final exam is not.

“Students should not share anything online that is prohibited by the rules for the course,” he said.

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Jennifer Smola, The Columbus Dispatch

Reach Jennifer Smola at jsmola@dispatch.com or on Twitter @jennsmola.

Reach Jennifer Smola at jsmola@dispatch.com or on Twitter @jennsmola.