Texas Christian University has suspended a group of students administrators say cheated on exams by using an app that publishes test questions online, a lawyer representing some of the students said.
The alleged cheating happened over multiple semesters and involved about a dozen students who used the Quizlet app in more than one course.
Students in college and even high school can use Quizlet to make their own study guides, flash cards and sample tests to review themselves and share with others.
Some of the suspended students argued they didn't know the exact material they studied would wind up on the exam.
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"Sometimes you'll look up a class and be like, oh cool, it has the study guide already on there," said Ashley Brummett, a TCU student unrelated to the suspension. Brummett added that she assumes test questions posted on Quizlet came from past student study guides or sample questions posted by teachers.
An attorney representing the students said they didn't know the exact material they were studying would be on the test, but that the professor said they should have reported it once they recognized exam questions. The group also questions why the test hadn't changed over multiple semesters.
"You know that you're going to use the same test every semester. You write the same study guide. Obviously, people are going to catch on," said Victoria Post, a junior at TCU.
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All of the students involved are appealing their suspensions. Letty Martinez, the attorney for many of the accused students, released this statement:
“We represent a number of TCU students who were recently suspended from the University on allegations of “academic misconduct” after using Quizlet — a public online study guide used by millions of students worldwide. While preparing for an exam, the students located and studied previously posted materials readily available on Quizlet — not knowing these items would be on the exam. Some students were even directed to these materials by TCU employed tutors. As it turned out, the professor responsible for the exam recycled test questions from past semesters. The “cheating” accusations stem from the professor’s belief that students should notify professors if they recognize exam questions. The knee-jerk suspensions have far-reaching and lasting implications for the students involved. The sanctions are being vigorously appealed. In this modern day, it is incumbent for Universities to adapt to changes in technology and for professors to change their tests. It is our sincerest hope that after TCU officials review the cases in full, cooler heads will prevail and the sanctions will be reversed.”
TCU released the following statement:
“Texas Christian University is aware of the situation, as reported, regarding potential cheating involving several students. We understand that these are serious concerns and are treating them as such, fully engaging the university’s academic conduct policy and its corresponding appeal process. All students involved have the opportunity to appeal before a final decision is rendered. Above all, an academic community requires the highest standards of honor and integrity in all of its participants if it is to fulfill its mission.”