Dartmouth med school drops cheating charges against students

The dean at Dartmouth’s medical school says charges have been dismissed against students accused of cheating by accessing online course materials while taking closed-book exams remotely

HANOVER, N.H. -- Dartmouth's medical school dismissed charges against students accused of cheating by accessing online course materials while taking closed-book exams remotely, the dean said in an email to the school community.

A Geisel School of Medicine committee recommended in April that three students be expelled and seven others receive lesser sanctions. But students said the school was misinterpreting data about their usage of Canvas, an online course management system used by Dartmouth, the Valley News reported. Some accused students also reported being coerced into confessing.

The email sent by Dean Duane Compton on Wednesday said the reversal came “upon further review and based on new information received from our learning management system provider." He apologized to the students.

The school had offered the 10 students an opportunity to appeal.

Compton said in a virtual town hall in April that the investigation started earlier this year after a witness reported students appeared to be using Canvas while the exams were being administered.

Compton said in his email that Geisel will review a proposal for open-book exams in pre-clinical courses; review the policy on pre-clinical exam remediation for reinstatement; hold in-person exams for all students during the next academic year; and improve communication between the administration and students.