More than 150 University of Missouri students have been caught using group chats to cheat on exams since many classes moved online amid the coronavirus pandemic.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — More than 150 University of Missouri students have been caught using group chats to cheat on exams since many classes moved online amid the coronavirus pandemic.

University spokeswoman Liz McCune said Friday that the school has identified three cheating incidents that each involved more than 50 students, The Columbia Missourian reports.

McCune said classmates went to instructors to report that the students were sharing answers through screenshots and over chats. One incident occurred in the spring and the other two this semester.

"Unfortunately, it's just part of our new reality that holding so many courses online has opened up new avenues for students to be academically dishonest," McCune said.

Since the pivot to remote learning in the spring semester, MU has closely monitored potential academic dishonesty incidents, she said. With a greater number of students taking online courses, the university is seeing more incidents of academic dishonesty this semester, she said.

Consequences for cheating include warnings, suspensions and expulsions, McCune said. The severity of the consequence depends on the seriousness of the incident and whether the student has a prior record of academic dishonesty.