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Group chats and cheating?

Posted

Good morning! 

I am a first year nursing student and have been totally online (besides labs) because of Covid. Our program is usually all in person. Because of this, the people in my class wanted to make a group chat so we can get to know each other and help each other out with studying etc. Unfortunately it has turned into helping with quizzes. Not so much exams because they are proctored but now I’m stressing about it because some of them are blatantly asking for direct answers and others are giving them. I don’t know what to do? Do I leave the group? I’m scared I’m still going to get in trouble because I was part of the group but the majority of our class is. But I don’t want anything to do with all that cheating. 😓

Leave the group pronto.

Yep, without a doubt - leave the group right now. If this gets out, I would imagine they can and will take disciplinary action against you, regardless of whether or not you actively participated in the cheating.

I left immediately. I guess I meant do I leave the group alone? Do I report to just leave it be? I am so disgusted about it, but I don't want to get in trouble for just being in it. I am livid. 

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 15 years experience.

Review your student handbook for guidance. You may find under the academic dishonesty section that you may be obligated to report if you have knowledge. 

There will be differing opinions about that one. I'll tell you my take: This is not ultimately my responsibility. My primary responsibility is to not participate in it. I am not the po-po and beyond that this isn't my circus either. I reject any insinuation that I have a moral/ethical responsibility other than to not participate. There are ways to make it much less easy to cheat; even as you mention in your post--the difference between the quizzes and the proctored assessments. The people with the primary responsibility in regard to this matter are 1) the cheaters 2) the people administering the tests they claim are fair and rendering the grades they claim are fair.

Keep in mind that if someone rats out this group your school may not agree with me with regard to your responsibility. This is strictly my opinion and what I would do about your scenario which is just to disassociate myself from cheating behaviors.

1 minute ago, Rose_Queen said:

Review your student handbook for guidance. You may find under the academic dishonesty section that you may be obligated to report if you have knowledge. 

I second this. It could be that, if word gets out that you used to be a part of that group chat, they may still blame you for not reporting it. So definitely check to see if there is a specific policy on this first. However, even if there is no specific guidance on it, your conscience may bother you and you may feel compelled to report it any way. This is ultimately your decision and there's certainly nothing morally wrong with that. At the same time, I personally wouldn't feel morally responsible for bringing this to the attention of the teachers. There are sadly many things that people do that are wrong but that we kind of have to just distance ourselves from them and move on. I try to pick my battles and only combat those that could potentially harm others. In the end, by cheating on quizzes, the only people that these students are hurting are themselves.

I

6 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

There will be differing opinions about that one. I'll tell you my take: This is not ultimately my responsibility. My primary responsibility is to not participate in it. I am not the po-po and beyond that this isn't my circus either. I reject any insinuation that I have a moral/ethical responsibility other than to not participate. There are ways to make it much less easy to cheat; even as you mention in your post--the difference between the quizzes and the proctored assessments. The people with the primary responsibility in regard to this matter are 1) the cheaters 2) the people administering the tests they claim are fair and rendering the grades they claim are fair.

Keep in mind that if someone rats out this group your school may not agree with me with regard to your responsibility. This is strictly my opinion and what I would do about your scenario which is just to disassociate myself from cheating behaviors.

I totally agree! It was my instructor who told us to create the group, but she didn't say to use it to cheat. Our entire cohort is in there, give or take one or two people who don't have facebook. They would basically have to expel the entire cohort if they are going to expel anyone who was in the group. I am so sick about it. I basically got out, and took a screen shot that I did, and did a time stamped letter stating I did not want to participate in the group because of the cheating. I don't know what else to do, except move and on pray it doesn't land on me if they continue to cheat and there is evidence I was once in the group before the cheating started.

Professor X, MSN, RN

Specializes in certified orthopedic nurse. Has 21 years experience.

1 hour ago, JKL33 said:

There will be differing opinions about that one. I'll tell you my take: This is not ultimately my responsibility. My primary responsibility is to not participate in it. I am not the po-po and beyond that this isn't my circus either. I reject any insinuation that I have a moral/ethical responsibility other than to not participate. There are ways to make it much less easy to cheat; even as you mention in your post--the difference between the quizzes and the proctored assessments. The people with the primary responsibility in regard to this matter are 1) the cheaters 2) the people administering the tests they claim are fair and rendering the grades they claim are fair.

Keep in mind that if someone rats out this group your school may not agree with me with regard to your responsibility. This is strictly my opinion and what I would do about your scenario which is just to disassociate myself from cheating behaviors.

Seriously not your responsibility? And when you are a practicing nurse and see a colleague pocketing drugs or falsifying documentation, that will also be "not my responsibility"? 

Yes, I am very serious. I've been a practicing nurse for quite some time and will not be shamed by you with regard to my professional assessment of this. I spend quite a bit of time analyzing things to come to my conclusions. Your comparison of this to the two examples you mention is practically anti-intellectual and appears devoid of a competent comparison of the situations.

Feel free to explain to everyone why I would be morally compelled to feel some duty for a situation where 1) the cheaters are the ones cheating and 2) the persons in the best position (besides the cheaters) to maintain the integrity of the assignment/quiz have specifically chosen not to take steps to do that.

I have very little tolerance for situations where someone attempts to impute an additional moral/ethical responsibility to me as a substitute for making a necessary change. It actually is *not*  my duty to make sure a random student isn't cheating on someone's random freebie quiz that they put out on the interwebs like an open-book assignment.

I have some more thoughts about how opinions like yours affect  this profession, but I will wait to hear what you have to say for yourself first.

Edited by JKL33

Professor X, MSN, RN

Specializes in certified orthopedic nurse. Has 21 years experience.

Wow, you certainly put me in my place and totally changed my mind about this situation. Now I see that cheating students do not in any way affect the integrity of the profession and should just be allowed to continue cheating. Thanks for setting me straight.

I see you don't want to defend your position.

Professor X, MSN, RN

Specializes in certified orthopedic nurse. Has 21 years experience.

No defense is necessary. My stance is that cheaters and liars affect the profession. You believe differently. 

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 34 years experience.

3 hours ago, Emeraldstorm said:

I

I totally agree! It was my instructor who told us to create the group, but she didn't say to use it to cheat. Our entire cohort is in there, give or take one or two people who don't have facebook. They would basically have to expel the entire cohort if they are going to expel anyone who was in the group. I am so sick about it. I basically got out, and took a screen shot that I did, and did a time stamped letter stating I did not want to participate in the group because of the cheating. I don't know what else to do, except move and on pray it doesn't land on me if they continue to cheat and there is evidence I was once in the group before the cheating started.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=georgia+state+troopers+cheat&view=detail&mid=C9FB1DDFA00588218522C9FB1DDFA00588218522&FORM=VIRE

The number of cheaters involved is fluff in the equation. If you’re going to report it, do so. I’m pretty sure there is a way that this could be done anonymously.  But if you choose not to, move on and pray that your name doesn’t surface as a co-conspirator. 

2 minutes ago, Professor X said:

You believe differently. 

We haven't discussed that yet, and being disingenuous by purposely misstating my position doesn't speak to your authority on the matter of ethics.

My position is that there are some situations where it is okay for individuals to decide how much risk they are willing to take as a response to others' improper behavior. I do not believe that I always have a duty to police and report others. I believe that sometimes I do have that duty and sometimes I don't.

Let me give you some examples of things I have seen in the last (day, week, month, etc.):

  • Nurses who don't put blood pressure cuffs on properly
  • Nurses who don't position thermometers to take temperature accurately
  • Nurses who have poor assessment skills
  • Nurses who give poor information to patients and others because their knowledge base is lacking
  • Nurses who use their phone when they aren't supposed to
  • Nurses who (in my humble opinion) waste time and that's why they didn't get their break
  • Nurses who touch their face when they probably shouldn't be doing that
  • Nurses who perform overrides while administering medications when we are supposed to try not to do that
  • Nurses who allow others to perform parts of their work that they aren't supposed to
  • Nurses who don't double-check work they are supposed to double-check
  • Nurses who use a common sign-on for one of the websites we need to use in our work
  • Nurses who don't do a very good job advocating for their patients and maintaining their rights because they don't know the applicable laws very well
  • Nurses who can't do math and don't understand the difference between rate and volume
  • Nurses who make a small mistake and lie about it
  • Nurses who make a big mistake and lie about it
  • Nurses who say they are watching someone's patients and then don't watch them
  • Nurses who take innumerable inappropriate shortcuts of various kinds
  • Nurses who call in sick when they said they had a social engagement they would be attending
  • Nurses who throw med vials in the sharps container instead of the correct bin
  • Nurses who don't rub the hand sanitizer in all the way and let it dry before touching something else
  • Nurses who don't clean rooms/stretchers very thoroughly when turning over rooms
  • Nurses who think they are maintaining sterile technique but they aren't
  • Nurses who don't perform the 5 rights conscientiously
  • Nurses who take verbal orders when it isn't absolutely necessary
  • Nurses who disrupt the atmosphere by talking incessantly, oftentimes about personal issues others don't want to hear
  • Nurses who tell lies about coworkers
  • Nurses who sabotage coworkers in various ways
  • Nurses who are argumentative and defensive
  • Nurses who gossip
  • Nurses who speak to patients and coworkers  in a manner I consider disrespectful
  • Nurses who don't staff the unit properly
  • Nurses who lie to staff about rationales for changes on the unit
  • Nurses who disparage other nurses for things out of their control
  • Nurses who blame other nurses for problems stemming from elsewhere
  • Nurses who unilaterally make changes that will negatively affect workflow
  • Nurses whose demeanor affects staff morale negatively
  • Nurses who demand that other nurses act as a safety net for all manner of systemic/institutional deficits
  • Nurses who continue to pile work onto other nurses without regard for the fact that it is impossible
  • Nurses who disadvantage other nurses in numerous ways, for their own gain or self-preservation (low-balling on wages, offering terrible contracts, increasing job duties past the realm of reason, etc., etc., etc)

I could probably keep going. All of these things negatively affect this profession in some way. Some of them could be considered more wrong than others, but all do seem wrong to me nonetheless.

What exactly would my day consist of if it were actually my duty to monitor and police things that are not, in my humble opinion, good for the profession?

No one can live like this. I cannot afford, on any level (mental, emotional, time-wise, etc.), to constantly concern myself with a good number of these things (but, to be sure, there are a couple I would concern myself with). There has to be some other way to judge what it is necessary for me to insert myself into besides just whether or not something theoretically could have a negative effect upon the nursing profession.

Secondly, I have some major qualms with the manner in which nursing education is currently being provided to begin with. In my opinion cheating on something that an instructor hasn't even tried to safeguard almost pales in comparison to some of the major issues we are facing if we don't tune up our educational processes. That is not to say that I would cheat myself or that I believe it's fine to cheat. I don't believe that at all. It's just that there's only so much I can care about and there are numerous other things ahead of this particular problem because they are way more foundational.

Lastly, the very idea that nurses have a moral/ethical duty to fix up everything that others don't **want** to fix (because it is inconvenient or will affect their market share or their profit or their reputation or their budget)?? I flat out reject it. Period.

 

 

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 43 years experience.

On 10/11/2020 at 6:13 AM, Emeraldstorm said:

Unfortunately it has turned into helping with quizzes. Not so much exams because they are proctored but now I’m stressing about it because some of them are blatantly asking for direct answers and others are giving them.

I just need some clarification. Are the quizzes done at different times - like a small group of students have the quiz at 0900 AM and another attends the same content session at noon? So 0900 students are telling the noon group what is on the quiz? If so, unless the for example, 0900 group is held away from ANY contact via facebook, telephone text, email or direct talking until 11:59, test questions can be transmitted. This has happened to every nursing class since the invention of 'different sections'. Faculty have a responsibility to develop different versions of tests that are comparable in difficulty but that is near impossible. Say for example, the quiz is drug calculation and there is one oral tablet question, one dilution of a vial question, one IV drip rate  question--- even without telling you the actual word problem you have a strong idea of what's on the test. Okay, what if I scrap the oral tablet question in the other section's test and instead do an IM question that is how many ml. to draw up based on the mg. order? I will have students arguing that question is much harder than a oral tablet question.

Or are students taking the test during the same 'Zoom' session and communicating to each other via text etc? I have the same faculty strategy for both situations I cited.

Now, do I think the OP should tell the faculty? No. Problems like this are inherent in the teacher's job and the faculty should have figured this out a long time ago and moved the quizzes to the lab sessions. There is always someone who will work harder to get around the system rather than study. In life, in work and in school. 

Edited to add:  At the CC I worked at we had a grant for helping LPNs have their own section for their RN classes. The grant paid for laptops (which were owned by the college) and the school contracted with a service that monitors the students taking the test at home by watching any sign of book reference or eyes moving off the screen. One student came forward and said their child came into the room and she spoke to the child. The service had not flagged this student and when the monitoring service was called it turned out 'they forgot to monitor anyone' during that test. We were done. Instead of an online theory and testing course, students now have to come into school to test. (This group though is limited in number). 

 

Your test results are only as good as the security you employ..

On 10/12/2020 at 11:34 AM, JKL33 said:

There will be differing opinions about that one. I'll tell you my take: This is not ultimately my responsibility. My primary responsibility is to not participate in it. I am not the po-po and beyond that this isn't my circus either. I reject any insinuation that I have a moral/ethical responsibility other than to not participate. There are ways to make it much less easy to cheat; even as you mention in your post--the difference between the quizzes and the proctored assessments. The people with the primary responsibility in regard to this matter are 1) the cheaters 2) the people administering the tests they claim are fair and rendering the grades they claim are fair.

Keep in mind that if someone rats out this group your school may not agree with me with regard to your responsibility. This is strictly my opinion and what I would do about your scenario which is just to disassociate myself from cheating behaviors.

unfortunately, it doesn't necessarily matter what your moral beliefs are when reporting cheating- she likely signed a handbook that makes it one of her responsibilities. Depending on the nursing program, I would not risk my academic future over concerns to not be a snitch.  It's simply not worth it.  There are ten people in line behind her waiting to take her spot.  This is exactly why there are handbooks and policies- it takes the guess work out of it.  Every academic policy I've ever seen states that if you know about cheating, you are obligated to report it. If someone else reports the cheating, she could be in hot water b/c she participated in the group so therefore at the very least knew it was happening

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 43 years experience.

41 minutes ago, BSNbound21 said:

This is exactly why there are handbooks and policies- it takes the guess work out of it.  Every academic policy I've ever seen states that if you know about cheating, you are obligated to report it. 

 Having reviewed our student handbook annually for over 40 years, I have never seen a "you are obligated to report cheating policy'. It is not like the OP is going to Westpoint. 

 

It is the faculty's responsibility to enact testing security measures. I am still not sure if or why quizzes are being given without any security measures.  Every professor knows they importance grades can have on a students progression in the program and we also know human nature.