Academic Misconduct in Online Classes Prompts Preventative Measures
Academic Misconduct in Online Classes Prompts Preventative Measures
  • Reporter Won John
  • 승인 2021.11.13 23:32
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▲Academic Misconduct / Santeri Viinamäki
▲Academic Misconduct / Santeri Viinamäki


As non-face-to-face classes continued until the partial face-to-face conversion in November, most midterm exams took place online. There are many ways of conducting an online exam, with different classes choosing a variety of methods. Some adopted Zoom or Webex as their exam platform, while others utilized exam-oriented platforms such as Monito School or
Cheating prevention measures are implemented most of the time, such as requiring for students to prepare multiple cameras and making sure all students take their exams in isolated environments. However, an exam taken online does not offer the same security as offline exams, as there can be many loopholes in the rules that cheaters may exploit. Even when incidents occur, it is not always clear whether there was malicious intent behind them or not. For example, an Internet connection failure that caused a brief webcam disconnection may be misinterpreted as the student intentionally turning off their camera.
These weaknesses in security and unreliability from connection problems are the reason there have been so many reports of rampant cheating in online exams from universities and schools all around the world. As such, POSTECH retains a zero-tolerance policy towards academic misconduct as a whole, including homework assignment copying, cheating in exams, forgery, etc. Students found guilty of academic misconduct will be punished by disciplinary action.
When a student is witnessed doing an act of academic misconduct, the class instructor or related committee can file a petition for disciplinary action. The Students Affairs Committee deliberates over the case and decides the severity of the action and whether disciplinary action is necessary. When a consensus is reached, the case is reported to the President and the President’s approval makes the case official. While most cases are sentenced to a limited suspension of one semester, all cases are considered individually, and results can range from disciplinary probation to unlimited suspension, and even dismissal from school.
Preventative measures are necessary, but the final roadblock that determines whether a student upholds the integrity of an exam is their own conscience. Hence, POSTECH’s Postechian Honor Code states “The future of Postechians is bright with honesty and respect for others,” and all students are trusted to behave as such during exams. Unfortunately, there have been cases of academic misconduct during exams at POSTECH since the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020. A constant stream of cheating incidents have resulted in disciplinary actions every semester. 
These problems have been festering in universities all over the globe. Top universities around the country have reported cases of mass cheating, with students sharing answers through online chatting rooms and people openly searching for peers to take exams together. Forbes reported a large increase in academic integrity violations after online exams started. Chegg, an online service that provides solutions to academic textbooks and 24/7 support for custom questions as a subscription service, has been reported for being used maliciously as an exam solver. Completely solving these issues seems impossible before the pandemic situation comes to an end.
Postechians who have witnessed any type of misconduct can report directly to the class instructor or email the Student Affairs Committee or the Office of Educational Affairs. Additionally, Student Committee on Pedagogy & Education (SCOPE) has recently opened up an anonymous window for academic misconduct reports.