More than 60 Dartmouth College students have been accused of cheating in a sports-ethics class designed for athletes, according to a local newspaper.
The Valley News reports the students charged with cheating in the class now face honor-code violations. The course’s professor told the Valley News that most of the students who cheated have been suspended for a semester.
The course, “Sports, Ethics and Religion,” is taught by Dartmouth religion professor Randall Balmer and was the largest course at the college last semester, with 272 students.
“Attendance and participation account for about 15% of a student’s grade in the class,” student newspaper The Dartmouth reported in November.
According to the Valley News:
According to Balmer, in late October, students who failed to attend class passed off handheld devices known as “clickers” to classmates. Those students then used the gadgets to answer questions on the absent students’ behalf to make it appear as though they were present in class, Balmer said.
Though Balmer said that 43 students — less than the total number of students facing sanctions — handed off their clickers to their peers, some others confessed to him that they had helped their friends cheat.
The Chronicle of Higher Education points out that the original count of 43 alleged cheaters does not include the students actually in class helping their absent peers.
According to Balmer, the course was initially designed to help student athletes who may have trouble keeping up with the workload at the Ivy League college. About 68% of the students enrolled in “Sports, Ethics and Religion” are Dartmouth varsity athletes, The Dartmouth reports.
A Dartmouth spokesperson sent Business Insider the following statement:
The Academic Honor Principle is a foundational element of a Dartmouth education. The integrity and excellence of that experience require trust between our faculty and students. For this reason we treat all academic honor code violations as major misconduct. The actions of a group of students for possible violations of the honor principle relating to misrepresentation of class attendance and participation are under judicial review.