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...

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