Straight From A Student’s Mouth: My experience defending a charge of cheating.

Straight from a student’s mouth:

A college student found herself charged with academic misconduct (a.k.a. cheating). Here’s her story.

“Last semester, I was in a Marketing class required to pursue my Human Resources degree in the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State. It was not the most difficult class, nor the most interesting. Each week, we had weekly warm ups and quizzes on chapters from the text. These assignments were issued via Pearson, an online education service that students at Ohio State used to do online work. For some classes, including Marketing, Pearson made up the questions based on the textbook. These questions stayed the same every semester, and students often made quizlets (an online study tool, comparative to online flashcards) to study from. These quizlets included the quiz question and the answer, and were public. If you searched the question, the answer would come up online. These online assignments were open notes; therefore, we were allowed to use our computers and resources.

GroupMe is an app that allows for large groups to communicate without the annoyance that large groups texts bring – we all know those. A GroupMe was created for Marketing for questions that may arise during the class; when are the exams, what do they cover, etc. Soon, people began posting the answers to the quizzes and warm ups, because everyone knew we all looked them up and this saved time. One week, I posted a warm up and quiz because I felt bad I never posted anything. No one really checked the GroupMe except for the answers to the quizzes and warm ups, so no one noticed 83 people had joined it. People kept adding other people, and one girl decided to turn in the GroupMe group at the end of the semester.

This case was brought to the Committee of Academic Misconduct (COAM). Almost an entire semester later, COAM gave out punishments. Everyone who had been in the GroupMe but not posted any warm ups or quizzes were put on academic probation and had to retake the class. Everyone who had posted also was put on academic probation, had to retake the class, and was suspended for two semesters. So I was suspended for two entire semesters for posting one warm up and one quiz within fifteen minutes of each other all because I had felt bad I never posted. I would have finished the class with an 88.9%.

As an HR major, I pride myself on ethics. I am involved in other activities outside of school, including a sorority, president of another organization, and have had multiple internships not only in the summers, but part time while being a full time student. Therefore, it was extremely shocking and upsetting that I, a student who gives my all in the Fisher College of Business and balances my time with things that will strengthen me, got suspended. I was due to graduate this Spring, in 2018. I would no longer be able to graduate on time. Telling my family, friends, and peers was not only hard, it was embarrassing.

The suspension was to be the Spring 2018 semester and Summer 2018. I would then finish my classes fall 2018, and graduate. However, since I was a Human Resources major, and the classes I needed to take to get my degree were only offered in the Spring, my suspension essentially became three semesters since I would need to stay that extra spring semester. I hired AW, and my attorney wrote a strong appeal letter that allowed my suspension to be summer and the next fall (2019), so I could finish my classes this spring, and just get my degree a year later in Spring 2019. This allowed me to work or do whatever I would like for a year, rather than having to take a break and then go back to school.

As hard and challenging as my situation was, and still is, it brought about some good things. Although it was difficult to remain positive throughout this experience, I knew if I held my head high things would workout, and they did. I have a great job in the field I want to pursue, and am trying to make the best of the situation.

If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. I try to remember the old saying, ‘When one door closes, another door opens.’ I am now motivated and determined again.”




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