March 7, 2008

Is Using Facebook Cheating?

It's OK to form a study group and work on homework, but Ryerson University (Toronto) is calling it "academic misconduct" to do the same thing on Facebook.  A freshman there was charged with 147 counts of cheating because he helped run a Facebook Chem study group.

"That's the worst part; it's creating this culture of fear, where if I post a question about physics homework on my friend's wall (a Facebook bulletin board) and ask if anyone has any ideas how to approach this – and my prof sees this, am I cheating?" said Neale, who has used Facebook study groups herself.

Ryerson officials have declined to comment while the case continues.

Ryerson's academic misconduct policy, which is being updated, defines it as "any deliberate activity to gain academic advantage, including actions that have a negative effect on the integrity of the learning environment."

Yet students argue Facebook groups are simply the new study hall for the wired generation.

If the college doesn't want students to use Facebook, they should block it and move the college one step closer to China.


Ben Wright said...

Dan: If people want privacy on their social networking sites, they should consider posting legal terms of service to that effect. See The idea is not legal advice for anyone, just something to think about. --Ben

Bryher1 said...

That's a really good idea, Ben... I'll remember that.