Student Authentication

Student authentication in distance education has been an issue of interest to federal policy makers for several years. The growth in enrollments and in the number of educational providers of online learning fueled concerns about the ability of institutions to verify the identity of online students throughout the cycle of an online course: registration, participation, assessment, academic credit. Passage of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, followed by federal rule making, resulted in new regulations. One regulation required accrediting agencies to assure distance and correspondence education programs have processes in place to verify student identity. WCET has led a number of important efforts aimed at informing policy makers, accrediting agency leaders, and online program administrators of different approaches - pedagogical as well as technological - that ensure their compliance with the regulation but also raise the conversation to a more widely relevant discussion of academic integrity.

Thumb on electronic identification machine.