Should universities spy on students to prevent cheating?

Background

Dartmouth Medical School recently accused 10 students of online cheating and took disciplinary action against them, even as some of the students denied the charges – thus igniting a nationwide debate. While universities claim that academic integrity is imperative, many worry about privacy and accessibility risks of universities using software to monitor students. Most data monitoring softwares track and review students’ online actions and history.

According to the New York Times, “Dartmouth’s drive to root out cheating provides a sobering case study of how the coronavirus has accelerated college’s reliance on technology, normalizing student tracking in ways that are likely to endure after the pandemic.”

Check out the maps below to see the arguments on both sides!

Discussion Questions

1) What kinds of incentives do students face that might motivate them to cheat?
2) How many college students do you think have cheated on at least one paper or exam?
3) Is it right for universities to take disciplinary action based on a technology’s tracking of students?
4) Is data monitoring a more severe breach of students’ privacy than other information that students provide to universities, such as health records?

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