HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Scores Of Harvard Student...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:51 AM

Scores Of Harvard Students Suspended In Cheating Scandal

Source: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Around 60 Harvard University students were suspended “for a period of time” after cheating on a final Congress exam, the school’s administration said on Friday. As many as 125 students were implicated when the scandal broke last year.
By News Wires (text)

Harvard University said Friday it issued academic sanctions against about 60 students who were forced to withdraw from school for a period of time in a cheating scandal that involved the final exam in a class on Congress, drawing criticism from a high-profile alumnus.

The school implicated as many as 125 students in the scandal when officials first addressed the issue last year.

The inquiry started after a teaching assistant in a spring semester undergraduate-level government class detected problems in the take-home test, including that students may have shared answers.

Read more: http://www.france24.com/en/20130202-dozens-students-harvard-university-suspended-cheating-scandal-usa



"Take home tests"...seriously? Wish we had 'take home tests' back in my day...

47 replies, 5218 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 47 replies Author Time Post
Reply Scores Of Harvard Students Suspended In Cheating Scandal (Original post)
Purveyor Feb 2013 OP
Gman Feb 2013 #1
TM99 Feb 2013 #6
a la izquierda Feb 2013 #9
Posteritatis Feb 2013 #32
a la izquierda Feb 2013 #38
Gman Feb 2013 #10
TM99 Feb 2013 #11
tblue37 Feb 2013 #14
TM99 Feb 2013 #16
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #13
SWTORFanatic Feb 2013 #21
TM99 Feb 2013 #28
SWTORFanatic Feb 2013 #29
TM99 Feb 2013 #31
One_Life_To_Give Feb 2013 #45
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #12
daleo Feb 2013 #43
aquart Feb 2013 #2
Posteritatis Feb 2013 #3
davidpdx Feb 2013 #5
harmonicon Feb 2013 #7
bluedigger Feb 2013 #4
whistler162 Feb 2013 #20
erpowers Feb 2013 #8
valerief Feb 2013 #15
patrice Feb 2013 #23
valerief Feb 2013 #34
coalition_unwilling Feb 2013 #40
patrice Feb 2013 #44
malthaussen Feb 2013 #17
1monster Feb 2013 #18
L0oniX Feb 2013 #19
Bucky Feb 2013 #24
L0oniX Feb 2013 #25
coalition_unwilling Feb 2013 #41
woo me with science Feb 2013 #35
Bucky Feb 2013 #22
hughee99 Feb 2013 #33
coalition_unwilling Feb 2013 #42
former9thward Feb 2013 #26
Igel Feb 2013 #27
skepticscott Feb 2013 #30
alcibiades_mystery Feb 2013 #36
LanternWaste Feb 2013 #46
woo me with science Feb 2013 #37
Hoyt Feb 2013 #39
Evasporque Feb 2013 #47

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:56 AM

1. Take home and open book tests

are a lot harder tests than the standard ones.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Gman (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:54 AM

6. Seriously?

This is definitely not the case in the majority of take home and open book tests.

Please, these kids were not even smart enough to change their answers so that they were not all exact copies of each other - with a take home exam no less.

Undergraduate-level Government?!

They should have had that knowledge from a high school civics class!

And they never should have been admitted to Harvard. Twenty years ago, they would have all been expelled permanently.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TM99 (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:56 AM

9. I give a take home final.

It's harder than the in-class midterm, and it amounts to an on the spot research paper.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to a la izquierda (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:32 PM

32. Yeah, that was my experience on the receiving end of the things

Through my undergraduate work, if I had a choice between a takehome and an in-class exam I'd always choose the latter.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Posteritatis (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:00 PM

38. My students always pick in-class exams if it's an option. They are easier if you're prepared.

If you are an organized person, then a take-home exam isn't the end of the world. But in-class exams are easier. I generally don't do take-homes for my survey classes.

It would be perfectly evident to me if students collaborated improperly. They are not permitted to work together at all, on any assignment. They write enough for me through the semester that I know their styles and interests.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TM99 (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:27 AM

10. As La Izquierda says below

it amounts to a research project at home on a short time line. Sounds like they collaborated on it. Stupid, yes. Not smart, I doubt it. These kids are brilliant. They're lucky they're not expelled for being stupid.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Gman (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:48 AM

11. Some but not all

Yes, there could be examples of a research project type exam that may be quite difficult. I read your post as perhaps meaning most, as in majority of, take homes, hence, my response.

These kids are not that 'brilliant' given what they did. They are coddled, though many will now call that lucky.

I have a graduate degree from an Ivy League. Had this occurred when I completed mine, I or any other student at the time would have been expelled with no questions asked or leniency given.

Things have obviously changed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TM99 (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:40 AM

14. Many of the students were on various sports team--including the basketball

team. The course is one known for giving easy grades, which is probably why it enrolls so many athletes.

Being a student at Harvard doesn't necessarily mean someone is brilliant.

Don't forget, George W. Bush did an undergrad degree in history at Yale and an MBA at Harvard.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tblue37 (Reply #14)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:45 AM

16. Yeah, I am

well aware of the demographics. Gman was the one who initially called them 'brilliant'.

Though this does not surprise me sadly.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TM99 (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:04 AM

13. I have also given take-home finals

Students HATE them. They are very difficult, much more so than an in-class final, and they also get much less leeway in grading.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TM99 (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:12 AM

21. Technically speaking most 3-15 page written papers undergraduates are given are

"take home tests" are they not?

That said I teach math and no way would I give a take home test for that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SWTORFanatic (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:39 AM

28. Apparently definitions are once more influx.

Yes, 'technically' I suppose they are.

As an adjunct professor of psychology, I assign research papers or short essays on reading assignments. I do not call them 'take home tests'. When we were undergrads, were they call that then either? No.

If I give a final of any sort, it is not given as a take home test nor is it given as open book.

Times are a changing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TM99 (Reply #28)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:58 AM

29. Like I said I am a math professor, I do not allow take home tests. :)

Also no, research papers were not called take home tests (and as far as I know, the people who assign them do not call them that either), but in a sense they are.

Just like I said for a fill in the blank or multiple choice or whatever type test (such as math) I would not assign something as take home - or even psychology or English etc.

It would have to be essay type questions for that, and well, if you're stupid enough to copy an essay you deserve to get kicked out of the school IMO.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SWTORFanatic (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:06 PM

31. Agreed on all points. :) nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SWTORFanatic (Reply #29)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:28 AM

45. I would think a dozen Non-Linear DifEq's would work

Multiple guess and fill in the blank don't work. But any problems where you expect to see significant work in deriving the answer can be done that way, In my experience. Not that I would want to take one. It would only be slightly less painful than a take-home exam in Network Synthesis.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Gman (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:02 AM

12. I was just coming to say this

College students do NOT like take home tests. Many law schools also have these.

Students are under the honor code during take home tests, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Gman (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:33 PM

43. That was my experience too (in general)

A prof could throw anything at you in an open book or take home exam. They had to be more judicious during a regular exam.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:56 AM

2. I had take-home tests.

One of them was the most difficult and brilliant test I've ever had. I'm still grateful for it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:17 AM

3. That's a pretty weak punishment for that sort of thing, too

I'm a fan of the "expulsion on first offense because you idiots should know better and are just wasting space a real student could use" approach my alma mater used.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Posteritatis (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:56 AM

5. Same here

I taught in China and cheating was a huge problem. For the tests I would make 3-4 versions with the questions and answers mixed up to keep them from doing that. If I knew where a student was sitting and the wrong answers matched those of the person next to him or her that's pretty much all the evidence I need.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Posteritatis (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 06:30 AM

7. Yes, that's what it should be...

but if the wrong person's son or daughter is caught up in this, I bet they wouldn't dare - too much money at stake. Even without that, the kind of shit they must already be getting for this has got to be a giant pain in the ass. So many kids who go to these expensive schools have a sense of entitlement. A friend of mine was lecturing at Columbia, and he'd have students' parents call him to complain about grades he gave their children. I can't imagine what kind of shit storm he'd have to have dealt with if he'd had one of them expelled.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:21 AM

4. I wonder how this will impact their future political careers?

They already have a leg up on experience.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bluedigger (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:04 AM

20. The Law School plagiarism had a slight affect on VP Biden career....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:54 AM

8. They Should Have Been Kicked Out Permanently

These students should have been kicked out permanently. As far as I know this test was not just open book; it was open book, open note, and open internet. The only thing the students could not do was work with other students and I think teaching assistants.

What question could be so hard that the students could not have found the answer for him/herself? If they were really stumped by a question they could have just given a complete answer to cover their bases. Also, they could have just tried calling the teacher and asking that the question(s) be made clear.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:45 AM

15. Take home tests? Of course, there's cheating with shit like that!!! D'oh! nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to valerief (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:16 AM

23. I think you should still be able to expect that an AGREEMENT to an honor code is respected. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to patrice (Reply #23)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:43 PM

34. At Harvard???? Really???? nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to valerief (Reply #34)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:58 PM

40. I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked! :) - n/t

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to valerief (Reply #34)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:11 PM

44. ... amongst adults. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:57 AM

17. Hey, they had to cheat! It was a course on Congress!

We already know these people have no idea how our government works. Just look at, er, Congress!

-- Mal

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:06 AM

18. I took a course several years ago in which part of the final exam was take-home...

However, those parts of the final exam were a ten page essay on everything we had learned in the course and a two-part analysis of two movies we watched during the course and how they related globally and individually to themes of the course. The third part of the test was taken in class.

I think I proabably spent about six hours alone on the take-home part of the exam. And my biggest problem was how to fit everything into ten pages of double-spaced, one-inch margined pages. I did a lot of editing and fitting my thoughts into fewer words.

Take home tests don't necessarily mean letting up on standards or making the exam a walk in the part.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:04 AM

19. Why suspend them??? They are learning to be banksters and CEO's. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to L0oniX (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:16 AM

24. What better training for a banker than a slap on the wrist for outright fraud?

Shit, they oughta get extra academic credits for the experience.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bucky (Reply #24)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:20 AM

25. Wallstreet will hire them as they leave the campus. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bucky (Reply #24)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:00 PM

41. LOL- I'm laughing to keep from crying :) - n/t

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to L0oniX (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:46 PM

35. And Congressmen. The class was on Congress, after all. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:15 AM

22. They should be expelled, lose all past credits, and be banned for 2 years from accredited colleges

And take-home exams should be ended.

Let these privileged punks learn what it means to be privileged. Let them learn what it means to earn a living by the sweat of their brows for a few years before they, doubtlessly, get their rich daddies to pay for a second round of college courses.

One reason Hollywood millionaires are so liberal is that most of them had to earn their way up from working class status. They know what it means to share an apartment, ride a bus, lose a day's wages for a preventable cold, or struggle to pay daycare tuitions for toddlers. Most of 'em, when they hit it big, remember that being a working stiff is hell and can still appreciate the value of humanizing our society with a modicum of social service programs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bucky (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:33 PM

33. This actually happened to a former politician from my state,

he was also an athlete and his family was wealthy and well-connected. He took a few years off and went back to Harvard 2 years later and finished with a degree.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bucky (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:01 PM

42. +1,000,000,000 x 1,000,000,000 - Well put and definitely

 

needed saying.

Bravo!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:26 AM

26. Our nation's future leaders.....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:33 AM

27. The take-home tests I've taken were hellish.

In pre-calc in high school there was one problem where everybody got different answers.

We asked the teacher to solve it. He did, and got a different answer. So he tried again.

4 tries later, he had 4 different answers. It wasn't hard, per se, it was just long, complicated, and messy. Too messy, apparently, for mortals to handle without a computer program.

Spent 15+ hours on a final in college. 10 questions. Wouldn't want to do that again. One kid bragged that he took less than 10 hours. Makes for a level of intensity that you can't get in the classroom.

Cheating's become rampant. More and more kids play school instead of study. The goal is to get the right answer in the right spot so they can check off a box on some form and get a piece of paper. When school is just a gatekeeper, the goal is to get past the gate. Period. Teachers often encourage this. Parents often do, too, esp. those who value degrees but not education; passing tests but not learning what's needed to pass the test.

Having been taught that collaboration is the only way to do things, they find it unnatural when told to do their own work. "But we won't have to do that when we get jobs."

Idiot, self-serving teachers. You may collaborate on a project, but you have your own piece to do. If you can't contribute without others doing your work, you're redundant, unnecessary, a hindrance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:59 AM

30. I had to laugh at this part

The dean said a school committee is working on recommendations to strengthen a culture of academic honesty and promote ethics in scholarship.

That's a transparently ridiculous representation of the "culture" at Harvard, especially among pre-law, law and business students. The culture there is to prepare them for jobs where the goal is to squash the competition by any means you can get away with. They promote that uber-competitive atmosphere before the students even set foot on campus. Of course they have to pay lip service to things like "ethics" and "honesty", but they know damn well that's not what students are there to acquire.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:46 PM

36. Back in my day blah blah blah

Sorry, just joining the chorus.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #36)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:11 PM

46. I'd imagine that many people feel their past experiences to something relevant is

I'd imagine that many people feel their past experiences to something relevant is...well, relevant.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:47 PM

37. A class on Congress. If they plan to get there,

they'll fit right in.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:39 PM

39. I used to love it when the fraternity guys who could get copies of past exams, came


prepared to answer the questions common on past exams -- but the prof changed all the questions. Those of us who actually tried to learn something did much better. Of course those bastards -- and others willing to cheat -- became bankers, scammers, sales weasels (willing to lie to get the sale), etc., and did quite well financially.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:27 PM

47. I guess the young Republicans need to rethink that political resume builder...nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread