Over the past 10 years or so, online education has gained a mainstream position. In fact, at a recent graduation ceremony at a Big 10 University, slightly more that 35% of the graduating class for the College of Education had completed their degree studies online.
As technology evolves to deliver online education and training, degree granting organizations and those managing training certification programs are tasked with ensuring the identities of those online students.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act
Of particular interest to institutions that offer online courses is Section 602.17, Subsection G of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Subsection G requires institutions that offer distance education or correspondence education to have processes in place to establish that the student who registers in a distance education or correspondence education program is the same student who participates in and completes the course and receives the academic credit.
Subsection G goes on to say that these processes must not violate a student's privacy.
Routinely and reliably authenticating that a person enrolled in a program is the same person who returns to the course and is the same person who takes the tests is easily done in person when an instructor has the opportunity to interact directly with their students. Authentication presents a challenge online, but a challenge that has been met in other industries such as financial services and e-commerce.
Voice Biometrics is Ideally Suited for Online Student Authentication.
Verifying that an enrolled student is the same student who returns and the same student who takes a test is a challenge for which voice biometrics is an ideal solution. A student will always have their voice with them and a telephone for voice sampling is also usually close at hand. (A recent study conducted by Ball State University Researchers concluded that 98.9% of all college students own some form of mobile phone)
A voice biometric is a truly portable authenticator. It can be used via landline or mobile phone and it can be used from any location with very high degrees of certainty. In addition, Authentify delivered its first biometrically enabled application in 2004. No one has more experience.