More than 200 students at the University of Central Florida have come forward to admit to cheating after their professor gave a lecture on ethics that has become a YouTube hit.

UPDATE, was it really cheating?

Professor Richard Quinn of the University of Central Florida recently discovered that 200 students in a class of 600 cheated on a test. They got a copy of the publisher’s testbank and studied from it. Now some students are objecting to Quinn’s accusation, arguing that what they did doesn’t constitute cheating. At TechDirt, Mike Masnick writes:

The “cheating” was that students got their hands on the textbook publisher’s “testbank” of questions. Many publishers have a testbank that professors can use as sample test questions. But watching Quinn’s video, it became clear that in accusing his students of “cheating” he was really admitting that he wasn’t actually writing his own tests, but merely pulling questions from a testbank. That struck me as odd — and I wasn’t really sure that what the students did should count as cheating. Taking “sample tests” is a very good way to learn material, and going through a testbank is a good way to practice “sample” questions. It seemed like the bigger issue wasn’t what the students did… but what the professor did.

In looking around, it looks like a lot of the students agree. They’re saying that the real issue is that Prof. Quinn simply copied questions from the publisher, rather than actually recreating his own test, and noting that this seems like a massive double standard. The professor is allowed to just copy questions from others for his tests? In fact, some of the students have put together a video pointing out that, at the beginning of the year, Prof. Quinn claimed that he had written the test questions himself.

Do you agree with this argument?