Online classes require new quality controls

The University of Oregon needs at least three things to elevate its game in online education: easy-to-use software to present courses, a sure way to proctor exams to eliminate cheating by online students, and a means of judging the quality of an online course, The Register-Guard reports.

Both the UO and Oregon State University are on the verge of replacing their “learning management system” called Blackboard. Blackboard is a website where students log onto course Web pages, whether the courses are offered on campus or online.

“Blackboard is a rickety piece of software,” said Ian McNeely, a UO history associate professor and associate dean of undergraduate education in the College of Arts and Sciences.

A new learning system would, ideally, be easy for students to navigate, robust enough to hold and run course content such as videos or even learning games, and within the universities’ means. Both the UO and OSU are in the process of seeking better systems.

A key problem that universities have to solve for online courses is how to make sure the unseen student is who the student claims to be — especially on exam day.

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