Academic Integrity and Identity In Online Learning
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Academic Integrity and Identity In Online Learning



slides from presentation by Acxiom titled, "Academic Integrity and Identity in Online Learning" at the March 2010 Midwest Blackboard User's Group (SLATE) Meeting at Lewis University, March 17, 2010

slides from presentation by Acxiom titled, "Academic Integrity and Identity in Online Learning" at the March 2010 Midwest Blackboard User's Group (SLATE) Meeting at Lewis University, March 17, 2010



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Academic Integrity and Identity In Online Learning Academic Integrity and Identity In Online Learning Presentation Transcript

  • Experiences Verifying the Identity of Online Students
    February, 2010
    Mike JortbergAcxiom Corporation
    (630) 944-0379
  • Agenda
    Integrity in Online Education
    Higher Education Industry Regulations
    Experiences with Challenge Questions
    Case Studies
    Risks & Identity Requirements
    Acxiom In Higher Ed
    Free Blackboard Program
    Complete paper available at
  • Integrity in Online Education
    Persistent question in distance education:
    How do you know who’s doing the work?
    Distance education has exploded and is reshaping how students learn and institutions teach
    The growth has magnified quality and fraud concerns by regulators
  • Current State of Identity
    In 2008, user id was the only method for verifying student identity in distance education
    Ninety-six percent of the respondents indicate their college requires students to authenticate their identity -- using a unique username and password -- to access their online courses.
    2008 survey of 139 members of Instructional Technology Council
    A user id grants access, but does not prove identity if it has been shared
  • The Fraud Triangle
    Grades, peers and career
    Reduces Pressure
    Varied assessments
    Active student involvement
    Online Assessments
    Technology Reduces
    Timed exams
    Scrambled questions
    Special browsers
    Identity verification
    ProcessesChanges Thinking
    Raise awareness
    Honesty policies
    No one will know
    Frame of mind:
    Everyone cheats
  • Challenges in Distance Education
    Academic Integrity Student Aid Fraud
  • What’s a Common Cause?
    User ids in distance education are not secure
    “She then went online posing as each student, enrolled in the courses and even did some of the homework. Once a financial-aid check arrived in the mail, minus tuition, a student would pay Halton a cut of the money, authorities said.”
    “Another student said a teaching assistant had given his personal username and passwordto a class of students to use during the semester to cheat. Employees also made a habit of sharing such passwords with those who were not explicitly given access by a supervisor.”
    "The former assistant coach was clearly assigned academic oversight responsibilities for the men's basketball program. In that capacity, he obtained all of the men's basketball student-athletes' online academic account IDs and passwords at the beginning of each academic year.This enabled him to log on to the institution's Internet system posing as the student-athletes. His access included, but was not limited to, class schedules, unofficial transcript and financial information. Additionally, if a student enrolled in an online course, the ID and password were used to access the course and to participate in required online chats. "
  • Faculty Opinions about Identity
    Kaplan University
    Student Identity Verification and the Higher Education Opportunity Act: A Faculty Perspective
  • New Guidelines
    As result of 2008 HEOA passage, new guidelines from accreditors
    When examinations are employed (paper, online, demonstrations of competency, etc.), they take place in circumstances that include firm student identification. The institution otherwise seeks to assure the integrity of student work.
    If proctoring is used, what are the procedures for selecting proctors, establishing student identity, assuring security of test instruments, administering the examinations, and assuring secure and prompt evaluation?
    If other methods are used to identify those who take the examination, how is identification firmly established? How are the conditions of the examination (security, time limits, etc.) controlled?
    “Interregional Guidelines for Electronically Offered Degree and Certificate Programs”
    Link to all regional accreditor guidelines for distance education
  • 10
    New Technology - Hardware
    Hardware and Biometrics: Adds substantial integrity but…
  • 11
    Acxiom Identify-X Challenge Questions
    An on-line real-time identity verification service
    Software as a Service in a secure cloud
    Generates challenge questions and scores responses
    Imbedded in popular LMS
    Institution administration and faculty control
    Which courses, assessments and how many students
    Identify-X strategy governs
    Which challenge questions
    How many questions
    Pass / fail threshold
  • Experiences with Acxiom Challenge Questions
    Sullivan University fall 2009 survey of 85 students
  • Compared to Travelling to a Test Center?
  • 14
    Privacy and FERPA
    Leverages only directory information
    No enrollment process for student data required
    Student releases data during identity verification process
    Recommend reading Privacy booklet before deployment
    Acxiom Opt Out and Privacy Policies
    Consumer Assistance
    Acxiom Privacy Policies
  • 15
    Identify-X Technical Details
    Software as a service identity verification
    No broadband required
    No new database
    No integration to SIS or LMS required
    Connect via pre-built LMS integration for Blackboard, Angel, Moodle, etc.
    Identity software development kit available for developers
    Technical specifications for integration from any application
    Sample C# and Java Code
    Web Service Definition Language (WSDL)
    Development / test environment access
    Identity logo and usage guidelines
    Additional SDKs available for
    FTC red flags (Bad SSNs, phones, fraud indicators)
    Lead quality / scoring, predictive and prescriptive analytics
    Address quality
  • 16 Web Proctor
    Web proctor
    Sees the environment
    Talks to students
    Observes the screen
    Not recorded
    Great for expanding test center hours and availability
  • 17
    Case Studies
    Student X starts online assessment, fails identity check, scores 100% on exam
    Student loan fraud found via Red Flag analysis of student demographics
    97% pass of students identity verification. Failure notification to institution faculty, dean and president.
    95% of students pass identity verification. One student starts same exam 4 times in 22 minutes.
    “Dead” Student appears on Social Security Death Index
    Larry Duggan, Director of Online Learning at SUNY Finger Lakes
    “I now have an answer to faculty who have asked how can they know who’s taking the online assessment. This level of authentication really does help with overcoming many objections faculty have to online learning"
  • Risk Analysis
  • 19
    Acxiom In Higher Education
    HR: Background Screening: guaranteed savings of 15% off your current provider
    Admissions: Lead scrubbing / modeling to reduce Cost Per Lead vendor costs and better target your audience.
    Institutional Research: Student demographics to understand the behavior and demographics of your leads, students and alumni with amazing insights.
    IT: Identity proofing can cut down help desk calls with secure online password reset. Ensure FERPA compliance for online transcript access. Mainframe, server, network outsourcing.
    Registrar: Implement FTC Red Flag programs to monitor for identity theft by verifying accurate SSN and student mailing addresses
    Business Office: Skip tracing solutions for finding students who owe the institution but have moved and do not provide a forwarding address.
    Alumni/Development: Re-engage with lost alumni or improve donor results with alumni propensity modeling. Measure social media use in your population.
  • 20
    To Learn More
    Calloremail for more information
    See or
    Join Group
  • Blackboard Program
    You receive
    Fully operational system at no cost
    Building Block, PowerLink, Angel Nugget
    Annual set of 500 to 2500 transactions (based on student population)
    Best practices and thought leadership on identity in distance education
    Fixed authentication strategy
    Alerts when you get close to empty
    Introduction to your institution
    Exposure to faculty and administration to our identity solution
    Opportunity to introduce other solutions
  • How to Activate
    Go to
    • Register
    • Download connector
    Get email from Acxiom
    • Watch presentations
    • Get credentials
    Get ready
    • Install and configure on test server
    • Recruit faculty
    • Select course
    • Notify students
    • Run the program
    • Analyze reports
    • Survey staff and students