Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education
2016 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Assessment of students in traditional higher education has always had mechanisms to prevent cheating and plagiarism, and the same need exists today for online assessment in virtual learning platforms. The number of students that are suspended from courses in tertiary education has increased in the last decade and there is a need for new techniques to handle the problem in online environments. To achieve zero cheating is hard (or impossible) without repelling not only cheaters but also those students who do not cheat, where a zero-tolerance emphasis also would risk inhibiting students' intrinsic motivation. Several studies indicate that existing virtual learning environments do not provide the features needed to control that the intended student is the one taking the online exam. New technology opens up opportunities for online authentication through biometrics, but raises new ethical issues in the fields of integrity and data protection. The aim of this study is to explore and discuss how a reliable model for online authentication in distance education could be constructed with the use of biometrics without the risk of unnecessary integrity violation. Data has been collected in a literature study and discussed in the light of existing technology applied to the field. Findings show that promising digital techniques exist which could be combined to assure authentication in online exams without violating students' privacy or storing sensitive data. A suggestion is to develop a biometric belt and braces model with a combination of scanned facial coordinates and voice recognition, where only a minimum of biometric data is stored. Conclusions are that online examination becomes feasible when the associated cheat risks are not zero but as low as in traditional examination, and that students' integrity have to be considered in all learning modalities.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Conferences Publishing, 2016.
Online authentication, Biometrics, Distance Education, Online assessment, eLearning integrity
Research subject Computer and Systems Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135408ISBN: 978-1911218-18-0 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-135408DiVA: diva2:1045192
15th European Conference on eLearning (ECEL), Prague, Czech Republic, 27 - 28 October, 2016