The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Biometrics Take on Online Cheating

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.”

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