Really this is is minor. There's cheating, and then there's CHEATING!I have read a ton on SDN about academic integrity, but my story is a bit different.
Here’s what happened. A student posted a single multiple choice quiz question in a chat. I answered, thinking that she, as so many students do, was looking for clarification after the quiz. I thought I was being helpful, but turned out that she was still taking the quiz.
I was charged with “unauthorized collaboration on a quiz/exam.” Note: I had not taken the quiz yet, I did not receive anything in return, and I was not accused of cheating on my own quiz. Also, the quiz was open notes, open book, open browser, and you can take it as many times as you want – in fact, it is encouraged as the questions are randomized.
I have hired a lawyer and am fighting the charge through the academic integrity process. Everyone I’ve talked to, including multiple advisors, think this is an overreach because of the format of the quiz and my lack of intent (though my university does not take intent into account), but an initial review by the board found me guilty. I am now appealing, but I am worried.
If I don't win the appeal, I know I’ll have to report it, own it, etc. but will this truly impact my medical school chances.
Aside from this possible IA, I have a 3.95+ GPA, MCAT of 518 (in practice since I can’t take right now), 150+ hours of shadowing multiple physicians, 250 hours clinical volunteering, 150 hours of volunteering in a women’s shelter, 150 hours of volunteering taking notes for disadvantaged students, an executive position on the honors fraternity, and a published thesis.
Multiple people have said not to worry, but I am.
Did your professor have any sort of policy that forbade this? Did you know that a quiz was going on? What were you doing when she was taking the quiz and you weren't?
I do think that the professor is setting him/her self up for well, failure, given the lack of stringency on the quiz. Allowing access to chat while giving a quiz really stupid.
I did not receive anything in return, and I was not accused of cheating on my own quiz.
Irrelevant to your situation.
Get a trusted faculty member to write you an LOR explaining this, as well as extolling all your virtues.