Biometrics is the newest tool colleges and universities are using in the battle against online cheating. Instead of using passwords and personal identification numbers to authenticate a student taking an exam, biometrics involves gestures and writing patterns which can’t be duplicated.
The technology requires students to write a series of letters and numbers into a designated box. The gestures used must match previously entered examples and handwriting habits before the student is allowed to take the online test.
The technology was 99% effective in third-party testing, triple the rate required by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, according to a report in eCampus News. In addition, a study from eduKan, a consortium of Kansas community colleges, saw an 80% reduction in test-proctoring costs.
“It’s a real budgetary issue for colleges,” said Jeffrey Maynard, CEO of BiometricSignature ID, the company that developed the system used in the eduKan research. “So it’s not just a more reliable way to protect against [cheating on exams], but it makes perfect financial sense.”