Moodle Cheating Scandal in NY

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Does your Moodle have terms of use and an academic honesty policy that students have to “agree to” upon entering the site for the first time (if you don’t, it’s incredibly easy to set up; see [http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/Site_policies#Site_policy_URL])?  If it doesn’t then you might need to be a little more forthright with your students regarding online behavior and your school’s academic honesty policy.  Recently in NY State 97 students were reprimanded for sharing Moodle accounts in their Advanced Placement course.

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It’s not clear what the cheating accomplished but the district is using this as a teachable moment for their students [article],

Ward Melville High School’s administration has concluded its investigation into an incident of homework cheating at the Advanced Placement level and has disciplined 97 students, the district said in a statement Monday.

In May, it was discovered that an 11th grade student’s Moodle account – an online tool used to manage homework assignments – had been inappropriately accessed by other students.

Some parents have said that grades may have been lowered as part of what the district called “academic consequences.” However, a district spokesperson said administrators are not commenting on the type of disciplinary action taken, nor are they commenting on the methods used in the investigation.

High school principal Alan Baum sent a letter to the families of those students informing them of the decision.

“Accessing another student’s Moodle account, even with the permission of the student, is wrong,” the letter read. “It is even more significant to access someone’s Moodle account without their permission or even knowledge. In both instances, accessing someone else’s Moodle account is academically wrong and a violation of the Code of Conduct.”

This year’s National Honor Society induction was postponed in light of the cheating incident; a district spokesperson said it will be rescheduled for September.

Baum also said in a statement the district “will redouble its efforts to communicate to students the appropriate use of online information, validity of sources, plagiarism, and proper attribution of work that is not one’s own.”

When do students see your policies regarding cheating and academic honesty? Is it easily accessible? Do you talk about it?