'Prolific' online exam cheating at University of Auckland, student claims

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Tue, 15 Jun 2021, 8:17AM
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

'Prolific' online exam cheating at University of Auckland, student claims

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Tue, 15 Jun 2021, 8:17AM

Cheating at the University of Auckland is allegedly widespread, with claims students sitting online exams are gathering on group calls to discuss the answers.

The university is now reportedly investigating after being alerted to the issue.

A student, who did not want to be named, said the university decided to host all exams online this year, for all faculties, in case there was another Covid-19 lockdown.

However, the new system was "entirely trust-based" with students required to log-in and sign an honesty disclosure at the start of each exam.

"While our mid-semester tests [which we sat on campus] were heavily monitored with our photo-IDs checked and the test conditions supervised, the online Inspera exams aren't being monitored in any way."

About an hour before an exam the student sat last week, they received an invitation to attend a "discord channel".

"I joined the channel and found 38 other students all on a group call, waiting for the Inspera exam to open so that they could share answers and pool knowledge to complete the exam together.

"There was a similar group of students sharing knowledge for [another] exam last week, and there is another plan in place for our exam [today]."

The student groups of students were getting together at each other's houses to sit the exams together on individual devices.

"I have had friends phone me during exams to ask for help on certain questions. And in the middle of our chemistry exam last week, another student sent a copy of his answers to a Facebook group chat that I am in, just in case any of us were struggling and wanted to copy."

The final exams were worth up to 50 per cent of their final grade and the student said it was "unacceptable" for the university to be holding its exams in this way.

"The cheating is prolific – more than half of the students in my papers are cheating in some form."

A spokesperson from the University of Auckland told Newshub it was recently made aware the cheating allegations.

"The university has mechanisms to detect cheating and will follow up and penalise where there is evidence of breaches," they said.

"While we are not aware of cheating having taken place in these online exams, we will be investigating the allegation."