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.
More than 6.7 million students took at least one online class in fall 2011, up about 9% from the previous fall. Federal regulations require colleges with online program to take the necessary steps to discourage financial aid and academic fraud by implementing secure log-ins and passwords for online course offerings. Some institutions, however, have taken it a step further.
Webcams. The University of North Carolina uses a webcam mounted on the test taker’s workstation to monitor for suspicious behavior such as drifting eye movements, which could signal that a cheat sheet is outside the camera’s view,or whispering.
Personal detail. Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y., which specializes in educating working adults, this month, is set to begin asking online students a series of improvised “challenge questions” designed to pinpoint impersonators.
Keystroke analysis. Pace University in New York City this fall plans to test a verification system based on students’ typing patterns, such as how long they hold down a key and how quickly their fingers move from one key to another.
Combing these tools, Athens State University in Alabama requires faculty to use challenge questions for at least two exams in each course, and it also uses a remote proctor and a browser that prevents students taking an online test from searching the Internet for answers.
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