WVU students disciplined for cheating via Apple watches

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Cheating has been always an issue on college campuses but, with technological advances, cheating has advanced also.

During West Virginia University’s 2017 Spring Semester, an undisclosed number of students were caught using Apple Watches to cheat on a freshman chemistry exam.

In a previous interview with the Daily Athenaeum, Mark Schraf, a WVU chemistry teaching instructor, said the students who had the watches took the wristbands off and held them in the palms of their hands so they weren’t noticeable to professors and teachers’ assistants in the room.

“They took a picture, sent it to someone else (outside of the classroom) who did the test and then they sent the information back,” said Schraf.

The investigation of the cheating has gone through academic dishonesty procedures at WVU, reported WAJR Radio News in Morgantown, a MetroNews affiliate.

In that process, the University decided to either have the students fail the class or receive an unforgivable ‘F.’ For students receiving the unforgivable ‘F,’ they can never retake the course.

Dr. Sue Day-Perroots, WVU associate provost for undergraduate education, said the students can appeal the results of the hearing or accept them.

“It is coming to an end of the hearing phase,” said Day-Perroots. “Then the students either accept the results of the hearing, or they can appeal it, so we’re waiting.”

The results of the investigation will not be publicly announced because it is a private issue, Day-Perroots said.

Going forward, she said the University would continue trying to identify ways to combat new ways of cheating.

“This is how technology has enabled new ways of very sophisticated cheating,’ said Day-Perroots. “This was not surprising. Students and cheating has been historical throughout time. Technology just enables greater levels of creativity.”

Dr. Katherine Karraker, WVU associate provost for graduate education, said students need to realize what they’re putting at risk when they cheat.

“We basically just say upfront, ‘This is not allowed and here is what will happen if you do engage in this behavior,'” said Karraker. “People who get away with cheating at one point in their life, are more inclined to cheat moving forward.”

Day-Perroots agreed.

“Academic dishonesty is an issue and we pursue that through the academic venues,” she said.

“So students can get an ‘F’ in the assignment, an ‘F’ in the course, or an unforgivable ‘F.’ We need to make that very clear in the academic constructs.”

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