Student Identity Verification in Distance Education

Student Identity Verification in Distance Education

How do faculty teaching online courses verify that students are doing their own work?

Answer:  All Medaille University distance education courses and the Blackboard Learning Management System employs a secure portal login process that requires a student to use his or her unique Medaille email address as his or her identification and a personal secure password selected by and known only to that student for entry into a course through Blackboard and for access to the university portal.  This ensures verification of student identity.  The secure log-in and password verification process ensures the protection of the student’s privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  The process for resetting student passwords is established by the portal vendor through an electronic system of student-selected security questions.  The Office of Information Technology is responsible for the application of the student identity verification procedures and monitoring of the university portal security.

Respondus Monitor:  Respondus Monitor is a companion application for LockDown Browser® that uses a webcam and video technology to prevent cheating during online exams.  Respondus Monitor integrates seamlessly with learning management systems, and is ideal for non-proctored testing environments.  This will provide an integrated Blackboard tool to verify a student’s identity as they proceed through the program.  Respondus is a tool that instructors may use in order to ensure academic integrity.


Turnitin Software: Turnitin plagiarism software has the capacity to compare student’s work with a database of materials, including published articles and other student’s work.  Turnitin is fully integrated into Medaille University’s Blackboard learning management system.  This is a tool that instructors may use in order to ensure academic integrity.