Did you know that there’s now a bot that will attend Zoom classes on behalf of students? Well, there might be more than one, but one in particular, Beuler, has the tag line of “Zoom out. Sleep in.”
In the “About Us” section of the website, it says: “Bueler was created as a dorm room project by two Zoom University students who understand the consequences and dangers of early classes. Instead of sacrificing their health and wellbeing, they decided to create a software application that would go to their classes for them.”
Dustin Bakkie did this video for educators on how to counter its use in classes.
Policy can take a long time to catch up to practice, as I pointed out with some colleagues in this article, so my guess would be that many institutional academic misconduct policies would not yet include explicit language to make the use of such bots a breach of integrity. Having said that, there may be provisions in some policies that prohibit students engaging with a third party to complete academic work on their behalf, or having someone else impersonate them. In this case the “one” might not be a human, but instead a bot, so policy interpretation might be the key to holding students responsible for their actions.
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Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.