To be able to write the MDSA01 exam ONLINE

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Professor/MDS department


This petition has been created to address a major concern of the student body of class MDSA01 regarding the second midterm exam.


We argue that as students who are paying for this course, we should not be penalized for the actions of a select number of students who have cheated on the exam.


POINTS OF CONCERN

It may be true that this exam format allows for cheating, however you have used this format for years.
This is a structural problem on your end, and yet we are being penalized because you were unable to foresee an obvious failure of your examination method
In the first lecture, you described the syllabus as a “contract between we, the students, and you. If you truly believe that this is the case, then it is unethical in principle for you to unilaterally, and so drastically change the “contract” at our expense, after there is nothing we can do about it. This is not the same thing as changing the syllabus because you’re making an exam earlier or later.
A huge part of the appeal of taking this course for many of us was the fact that two out of three exams are online exams. We paid University of Toronto to take this course as opposed to any other course. To reiterate, hundreds of us paid hundreds of dollars per head to take this course based upon the assumption that the midterms would be open book. Only a small minority of us are taking this course as a program requirement.
For you to change the syllabus at our expense because of a foreseeable problem on your end, and for you to do this after the deadline to switch classes/ be refunded for a class is incredibly unfair.
In all candor, it is patently obvious to anybody that this system of online examination opens the door to cheating. In the real world, when a business drafts a contract that creates an unintentional loophole for the other party, they don’t get to just simply change the contract. Although we as students recognize your absolute legal authority to modify our “contract”, we are saying that by changing the rules in the middle of the game, you are putting the financial and academic onus on us for your original miscalculation.
Moreover, this reformatting is incredibly inconsiderate for many people in this class who have certain anxiety disorders, as they might have taken this course in large part because the at home environment mitigated some of the shortcomings in performance they would experience in an in class scenario.   
None of this is to say that we don’t understand that you are being put in a difficult position. We understand that the University has a responsibility to curb cheating whenever possible. This opinions espoused in this letter is in no way an endorsement of those who took advantage of this system. Rather it is simply a recognition of the reality that many of us would perform much better if the exam were still open book, and for many of us, that was a significant factor in determining whether or not we took the course.
Lastly, just to clarify, none of this is to say we do not respect you or your judgement as a professor. We recognize the time and effort you put in to help us succeed. We only hope that you recognize our financial and academic concerns. Please take take our ojections seriously. Thank you for your consideration.
Kind Regards,

MDSA01H3F - 2018

 



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