Harvard Cheating Scandal Points Out the Ambiguities of Collaboration

Harvard Cheating Scandal Points Out the Ambiguities of Collaboration 1

Elise Amendola, AP Images

An investigation at Harvard U., where 125 students are suspected of cheating on a take-home exam, is drawing attention to the educational value of group work, and the gray areas that arise when expectations are not clear about permitted and impermissible collaboration.

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close Harvard Cheating Scandal Points Out the Ambiguities of Collaboration 1

Elise Amendola, AP Images

An investigation at Harvard U., where 125 students are suspected of cheating on a take-home exam, is drawing attention to the educational value of group work, and the gray areas that arise when expectations are not clear about permitted and impermissible collaboration.

The notion that students should collaborate with one another outside of class has been embraced nearly universally in higher education, but is this a good thing? And when is it most appropriate?

Those are some of the questions prompted by the news last week that Harvard University is investigating 125 students for allegedly cheating on a take-home final examination last spring.

The allegations of academic dishonesty on the open-book, open-note, open-Internet exam range from