It has been recently reported that a student is facing expulsion for participating in a Facebook study group (Schaffauser). The story argues that homework counted for a fraction of the grade and by students participating in such a group were committing academic misconduct.
For many years, and long before the Internet, students worked together, shared homework and learned from each other. Faculty who wish to assess the individual student should do so in a manner that the faculty member can control.
Too many students and faculty are of the opinion that it an us against them. Faculty should support and foster different learning modalities not stifle them with ridiculous rules and restrictions.
Faculty should worry more about student learning and less about handing out grades. If a student learned by working with a peer, then the student learned. The faculty member has done their job. If the student received a grade because he/she obtained help, then the faculty member is at fault for assessing a non-learning environment.
Dian Schaffhauser, “Student Faces Expulsion over Facebook Study Group,”Campus Technology, 3/19/2008, http://www.campustechnology.com/article.aspx?aid=59936