Tweeting during exams … and that’s just the staff! #tweetgate

I read this story last night from the University of Cardiff’s Independent Student Newspaper about #tweetgate where they are “investigating a lecturer who may have contravened exam regulations” by tweeting.

Some of the tweets reported were:

“Student 22 is very cold… But if she will wear a mini-skirt and heels to an exam in January.”

“Student 20 just asked to go to toilet. She went just before the exam. Coffee fuelled emergency cramming I reckon.”

There is also some confusion as to whether the tweets were written/sent from within the exam room or not. Now, while many of us MAY have thought similar things during the times we have invigilated exams, we may even have written or doodled something to ourselves to pass the time … but to send it out publicly on Twitter?

It seems the guidelines at Cardiff do not cover this kind of behaviour directly (and why should they, Twitter and other social network tools are fairly new to many people) it’s a sure sign that policy and guidelines need to be reviewed and updated to cover aspects of ‘online behaviour’ of staff at times when they should be otherwise engaged in the task at hand.

Cardiff Uni has said that “University regulations require invigilators to maintain a constant supervision over all students. Invigilators are informed that no mobile phone usage is permitted in an examination venue and that phones must be switched off”.” While the investigation is ongoing I think many people will be watching to see (a) what Cardiff does to/with the offending member of staff, and (b) what policy or guideline changes are made to cover/restrict this type of activity.

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