Student could be expelled for Facebook use – huh?

Big news this . . . “First-year student Chris Avenir is fighting charges of academic misconduct for helping run an online chemistry study group via Facebook last term, where 146 classmates swapped tips on homework questions that counted for 10 per cent of their mark.”Why? this “…virtual study group has been slammed as cheating by Ryerson University.”

I don’t know all of the details, such as why Ryerson considers this an academic rules violation – they aren’t saying anything publicly of why, or what the students actually did while on this social networking site. The students claim it was just a study group and no different from meeting in the library.

In reading through the various news and blog posts on-line there is a lot of opinion from both sides of the issue. Hopefully we will know soon what the details are.

Will this be another example of a conservative, status quo group resisting change or did the students actually use the site to cheat? And if some did, should the administrator of the group (which Chris‘ was) be held responsible for what the members post? Is the university using this as a precedent setting case to support their recent changes in policy to include on-line activities? Is the real issue in how the administration at Ryerson is acting in this situation – is the process flawed?

Curious to know more? here are some links to blog posts on the subject . . .

http://wordpress.com/tag/chris-avenir/

http://tailrank.com/5338233/Student-faces-Facebook-consequences

http://blogs.enotes.com/english-teacher-blog/2008-03/is-it-cheating/

http://post-secondary.blogspot.com/

Dean

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