Student Identity Proofing with Biometrics to Meet Regulations, Lower Operational Costs, Reduce Physical Proctoring While Maintaining Academic Integrity

Collection: 
Vendor EPs
Author Information
Author(s): 
Dr. Mark Sarver, eduKan
Author(s): 
Jeffrey Maynard, Biometric Signature ID
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
eduKan online course management for a consortium of 6 Colleges in Kansas - Pratt Community College, Barton Community College, Garden City Community College, Seward County Community College, Dodge City Community College and Colby Community College
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

eduKan manages the online courses for a consortium* of 6 colleges in Kansas and wanted to reduce proctoring costs and deter online cheating while meeting verification regulations for distance education as required by the Department of Education and their regional accrediting agency. Dr. Sarver worked with the team at Biometric Signature ID (BSI) and Pearson to pilot test BioSig-ID(TM) as part of the LearningStudio authentication process since BSI’s technology matched eduKan’s needs versus other webcam-based, hardware intensive technologies. The pilot ran from March-April, 2011 with 174 students from multiple classes using BioSig-ID(TM) to authenticate their identity 6 times before their final exam. There were 6,300 verifications and only 9 help desk calls during the trial period. eduKan conducted a survey after the pilot ended and found that 97% of the students preferred BioSig-ID(TM) to finding a proctor or driving to a facility for physical proctoring while 94% of them had a positive experience with the verification process. The final results of the pilot including the survey and cost analysis proved that the BSI technology would more than meet their goals. The faculty and administration were also very positive about their user experience making it a “win-win.” The outcome has been impressive and has allowed eduKan to achieve their goals of reduced costs, increased compliance, dramatically lower student fees to help gain a competitive advantage, and ensure academic integrity. eduKan now meets and exceeds the requirements for verification of online student identities and can be confident that the same student who submits assignments, takes exams, and earns a final grade is the same one who enrolled in that course and has received financial aid. *Pratt Community College, Barton Community College, Garden City Community College, Seward County Community College, Dodge City Community College and Colby Community College.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

Since eduKan’s courses required physically proctored exams and other gradable events such as discussion/participation groups and quizzes, they wanted a technology that could be used for all gradable events and meet the online student’s needs by keeping the experience online. eduKan wanted to find an online student ID verification solution that would not limit them to a single point in time but allow them to make student verification a continuous process. eduKan also wanted to have the ability to challenge their student’s identity randomly during each course to ensure their Academic Integrity was not being compromised by growing their online course offering and enrollment as this verification process would also work to deter students from cheating online. eduKan rolled out the BSI solution to all of their online students in May 2011 as their student ID authentication system. BioSig-ID(TM) has now replaced most of their physical proctoring, is used for all other gradable events, ensures compliance, and provides random periodic challenges to the students to deter cheating. eduKan administrators and instructors can access BSI’s audit trail and reporting tool to review student verifications, monitor re-set requests, compare success ratios to identify and confirm any suspicious activity during the verification process. The use of BioSig-ID(TM) ensures eduKan’s compliance issues are met or exceeded today and for the foreseeable future.

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

The results for this report were collected from May – December 2011 involving over 1800 students (eduKan now has over 4,500 students enrolled online using this technology while being managed by a staff of six employees). The outcome has been impressive and has allowed eduKan to achieve their goals of reduced costs, increased compliance, dramatically lowered student fees to help gain a competitive advantage, and ensured academic integrity. As a result of this technology innovation, eduKan is also now benefiting from: 1) Proctoring operational cost reduction by 80% in faculty / staff time and physical management expense by eliminating most physical proctoring (8,000 + hours on average / per year saved) 2) Eliminating proctoring costs for students - $38 per proctored exam / $380 per year average 3) A fixed fee for *unlimited* student ID authentications - under $15 per student per year 4) Ensuring our student's privacy with the only biometric that can be revoked and reissued 5) 94% positive user experience 6) Low support needs and ease of deployment to our growing student enrollments (of 25% a term) as BSI can be used on any system, tablet, smart phone, Android, Mac or PC, Flash or HTML5 without installing any additional software or hardware 7) 3rd party testing proving technology to be 99.97% accurate in keeping impostors out

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

The outcome has been impressive and has allowed eduKan to achieve their goals of reduced costs, increased compliance, dramatically lowered student fees to help gain a competitive advantage, and ensured academic integrity.

*Access: *

eduKan is able to keep online, distance education "online" without creating further burdens for students and faculty as it relates to proctoring or student ID verification.

*Faculty Satisfaction:*

eduKan is able to keep the staff focused on managing student enrollments and proactively managing student ID verifications to ensure cheating is reduced and eliminated while keeping academic integrity preserved for their institution.

*Learning Effectiveness:*

eduKan will be able to provide more courses and keep fees low for their students and allow students to "learn" online day or night without having the burden of travel, time and un controlled expenses for proctored events; while protecting their privacy.

*Scale:*

The BSI software solution does not require any software or hardware installation on any users system and is compatible with all technologies students use to access the Internet and their Pearson LMS login from smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. It is very user friendly and does not have the same level of support other options require.

*Student Satisfaction: *

Students surveyed overwhelmingly preferred the BSI technology to physical proctoring and 98% had a positive experience in using the technology for ID verifications.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

The BSI software is currently available in Pearson LearningStudio, BlackBoard as a BuildingBlock, Moodle and Moodleroom LMS systems. The institution would work with BSI to turn on the capture / reporting database and use their "install-in-a-box" documentation and 3 minute "how-to" video to inform and educate staff and students, for the roll-out. No other hardware or software is required for students / users and can be used on any system, tablet, smart phone, Android, Mac or PC, Flash or HTML5.

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

Less than $20 per student per year for unlimited verifications. Compare to proctored exams at an estimated cost of $38 per exam and 8-10 exams a year.

References, supporting documents: 

Attached white paper and results from surveys.

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Mark Sarver, Ph.D
Email this contact: 
marks@edukan.org
Effective Practice Contact 2: 
Jeff Maynard
Email contact 2: 
jeff.maynard@biosig-id.com
Effective Practice Contact 3: 
Leslie Mason
Email contact 3: 
LeslieM@edukan.org