Pearson’s Edict on How Students MUST Use Social Media. Warning: Your Student Can be Charged With ‘Malpractice’ if they Don’t Follow Pearson Rules.
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One of the trending hashtags/topics last night on twitter was #Pearson. A journalist broke the story of Pearson contacting a school district to track down a student who tweeted about the PARCC test after the test was finished. The story is that Pearson requested the student be disciplined for his/her freedom of speech about the Pearson test. Read more here.
Diane Ravitch wrote about a reader posting Pearson’s policies on how others should use social media when presenting information about Pearson’s products. The screenshot above shows the beginning of that policy (reprinted in full below) but I wanted to draw your attention to the privacy and cookies policy statement. I don’t think the cookies are there to make the site work better for me, I’m thinking those cookies are on there to make it easier to track anyone who looks at its website. Pearson’s eyes are everywhere:
How we use social media
Here you’ll find details of how we use social media such as Facebook and Twitter and the kind of response you can expect from us.
We have an active presence on social media and encourage students to use it too. It’s a great way to find information and share ideas, particularly when you’re revising for exams.
How we use social media
During the normal working day we respond to all posts from students and parents struggling to find or fully understand information on our website. Most of the posts come via our Facebook page or @EdexcelStudents mentions on Twitter.
We try to respond to, or at least acknowledge, all of these posts in the same day.
The only exception is that we don’t respond to anything that could be considered offensive. If you’re waiting for a reply to something and it’s been more than one working day, you might want to check the language you used or that the team have received your post – some of our profiles block certain words and phrases.
Outside of working hours, we may still check social media but we often won’t respond until we’re back in the office.
- review Tweets about our brands (e.g. ‘Edexcel’ and ‘BTEC’) that don’t directly tag our profiles
- monitor social media platforms such as Google+ and other online forums
We may not reply directly to these types of posts, but we monitor them to make sure that any of you with questions are getting the answers you need.
Monitoring activity on social media allows us to continuously improve the service we offer by keeping us up-to-date with what you’re saying about us online. In the past, this has helped us to identify problems with our website, driving improvements to our student pages.
Discussing us or our assessments online
Sharing ideas with others online can be really beneficial when you’re studying or revising. However, there are limits to the amount of information you can share, and you need to be careful not to break the rules. If you’re in doubt about what you can and can’t discuss, it’s always best to check with your teacher.
Sharing too much information with others is an example of ‘malpractice’. Other examples include:
- copying someone else’s work or allowing your work to be copied
- allowing others to help produce your work or helping others with theirs
- being in possession of confidential material in advance of an exam
- taking unauthorised items into an exam, such as a mobile phone or extra notes
- passing on rumours of exam content
- discussing the content of an exam before the paper has been completed in other parts of the world
- threatening or harassing staff at an awarding organisation.
We have an obligation to investigate any case where there is the suggestion that you’ve acted improperly. If you are found to have broken the rules, you could face one of the following penalties:
- a warning
- the loss of marks for a section, component or unit
- disqualification from a unit, all units or qualifications
- a ban from sitting exams for a set period of time.
We understand that sometimes you are going to talk about us and our assessments with your friends. During stressful periods, some comments may not be very flattering. However, we’d like to ask you to act responsibly when discussing us or your exams and coursework online.
You can find additional guidance agreed by all of the major UK awarding organisations on the JCQ website:
We hope you find this useful and please get in touch if you have any other questions: