p2pnet news | P2P:- A first-year student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, is in trouble for helping to run an online chemistry study group via Facebook.
Computer engineering student Chris Avenir has been charged with one count of academic misconduct for helping out on Dungeons/Mastering Chemistry Solutions, so named after the Ryerson basement study room engineering students call The Dungeon, says the Toronto Star.
Some 146 classmates, “swapped tips on homework questions that counted for 10 per cent of their mark,” landing Avenir on the end of another 146 counts, “one for each classmate who used the site”.
“Avenir, 18, faces an expulsion hearing Tuesday before the engineering faculty appeals committee,” it states.”If he loses that appeal, he can take his case to the university’s senate.”
“So are we not allowed to talk to other people about school work?” – asks a Facebook group set up to support Avenir.
“Are we not allowed to teach others and impart our wisdom? Are we not allow to share ideas?
“If you feel that this is an outrage and that Chris’s charges should be dropped, please simply join this group and share these articles with all your friends just to show your support for this good man!
“His hearing is taking place on Tuesday March 11th at ENG 3rd floor, Room 358 from 3:00-4:30, drop by before or after to show support. Bad thing is, obviously we aren’t allowed in.”
‘We’re going to make an example’
The online culture is outpacing the curriculum and education system, the Province has social sites expert Jesse Hirsh, saying, going on:
“These students are being smart and using the Internet the way that it should be used. This is the future of education.”
Student union spokeswoman Kim Neale, who’s representing Avenir at a faculty hearing, says the situation has created a “chilling effect” with the administration, “We’re not going to tolerate this. We’re going to make an example.”
But, “That’s what creates this culture of fear in students who now think, ‘Can I not talk to someone after I finish an assignment? If I had an issue, is the only person I (can) talk to my professor’?”
According to the Province, Neale says Avenir, studying for a midterm, is under a lot of extra stress.
“He joined this group to prepare for his quizzes,” she said. “His posts mainly said ‘Hey guys, let’s get together for an exam study session. Not like ‘Hey guys, I did these questions and here are my answers’.”
Adds the Toronto Star:
“Ryerson’s academic misconduct policy, which is being updated, defines it as “any deliberate activity to gain academic advantage, including actions that have a negative effect on the integrity of the learning environment.”
“Yet students argue Facebook groups are simply the new study hall for the wired generation.
“Avenir said he joined the Facebook group last fall to get help with some of the questions the professor would give students to do online. As the network grew, he took over as its administrator, which is why he believes he alone has been charged.”
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