Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

Keystroke biometrics for online course ID

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Free online class provider Coursera will start offering identity verification so that students can claim their class accomplishments, according to a report in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Coursera is launching a pilot project to check the identities of its students and offer verified certificates of completion for a fee. In order to validate the identities the company will use keystroke biometrics, which analyzes a user’s pattern and rhythm of typing to serve as identification.


The verification system will involve several steps, including taking a picture of a photo ID in front of a Web cam and then having the student pose for a second photo for an initial identity check.

A Coursera employee will compare the two images to see if they match. Students will then be asked to type a short phrase to register their keyboarding pattern with Coursera. Each time students submit assignments they must type the same short phrase for the system to check whether it matches their initial sample.

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Researchers at Iowa State University are exploring the concept of keystroke authentication as a way to replace passwords, reports CNET.

Associate professor of engineering Morris Chang is working with a team to identify people by their typing methods and keystroke speed. The goal is not just to authenticate someone logging into a website or system, but also to continuously monitor their activity while at that site to ensure an account hasn’t been hijacked.

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Biometric identity and motion analysis specialist, KeyLemon is the latest to join the Blackboard Partnerships Program, bringing its facial recognition solution to the company’s online education portal, Blackboard Learn.

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Colleges are increasingly developing strategies to ensure that the student who gets the grade for taking an online course is the same person who does the homework and completes the exams, according to biosig-id.com.

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