The Issues Related To Student Authentication in Distance Education

The Issues Related To Student Authentication in Distance Education

Deb Gearhart (Troy University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1773-5.ch013
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As long as there has been distance education there has been the question how do you know the student turning in the work is the student registered for the course? As technology has been improving distance education course delivery, online education has been growing in leaps and bounds. The most recent Sloan-C report stated that in the U. S. alone there were almost 3.9 million students taking at least one online course during the fall of 2007 term (Allen and Seaman, 2008). Legislators took a hard look at the issue of student authentication in distance education with the passage of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. This paper reviews the issues related to student authentication and reviews the current forms of student authentication, reviewing one institution’s answer to student authentication in its online programs.
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An Introduction To Biometrics

Fingerprints are the ridge and valley patterns on the tips of the fingers and are the oldest and most accepted form of biometrics. Ancient kings and queens sealed letters and authenticated them with fingerprints in the wax thousands of years ago. Over hundred years ago, in the US and in Europe fingerprints were used for identification. In all this time, no two fingerprints have been found to be the same. They are truly unique to each individual (Upendra, Singh, Kumar, and Verma, 2007). Upendra, Singh, Kumar, and Verma (2007) explain how online fingerprint systems work. During the registration process a reference biometric template of the fingerprint is stored in a database. Then when the authentication process, when the user is being verified, the biometric template is reviewed and used to match at the established threshold.

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