Online colleges make progress in fight against cheating

Many of the colleges who didn’t use technology to monitor students still use proctoring services popular in the pre-internet days of distance education. Four in 10 institutions said they proctor test takers, while 35 percent do not, according to WICHE’s survey.

The integrity of online test takers extends well beyond traditional web-based college courses. Companies that manage massive open online courses (MOOCs) for universities have also sought solutions to the persistent integrity issue.

When the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and edX roll out new MOOC completion certificates to accompany more involved and time consuming courses next fall, the university wants to use web cameras to make sure students who are receiving certificates are the ones who did the work.

“This is all an experiment,” said Steve Carson, external relations director at MIT OpenCourseWare. “We’re trying different things and looking at what learners are interested in– what kinds of certificates do they want, what kinds of programs are they pursuing.”

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