According to the latest report from Babson Survey Research Group, nearly 6.5 million American undergraduates now take at least one course online—representing close to one-third of the postsecondary student body. The rise of online programs is enabling colleges and universities to support a growing population of nontraditional students, many of whom balance work or family commitments in addition to their studies.
Of course, online learning is not without its challenges, among them verifying a student’s identity when students and faculty are separated by miles (or days). And as online education continues to expand, some students are bringing old-fashioned cheating into the digital age. Colleges and universities are, in turn, on the hunt for solutions to help ensure the integrity and quality of online programs. They’re fueling a multiplicity of new approaches to online proctoring, from screen-sharing to biometric keystroke recognition. Like so many aspects of education technology, innovation can sometimes spark confusion at the intersection of higher-education policy and practice, so we’ve outlined three best practices for schools interested in putting online proctoring to the test.
To catch a cheat: Best practices in online proctoring
1. Listen to students and faculty. Every college, university, or online-learning provider has a different approach to online learning. From complete programs and degree pathways online to programs that focus on specific courses and certifications, each institution has a specific audience, so each requires a customized approach to proctoring and identity verification designed around the target student population.
(Next page: More ways to catch online cheating)