Online College Spying

Folks taking online college courses should get ready for more expenses. A law is being considered that will require onlineprograms to prove that the student who is enrolled is actually the one doing the work.

Some methodologies being used are fingerprint scanners, web cameras and keystroke logging. Not all officials like this new law:

“But some college officials are wary of the technologies, noting that they are run by third-party vendors that may not safeguard students’privacy. Among the information the vendors collect are students’ fingerprints, and possibly even images from inside their homes.”

They are also concerned that the government will force them to use only one method. This would be a good way for government to gain control over curriculum and extend the “No Child Left Behind Act” to the college level.

Securexam Remote Proctor has both a camera and fingerprint scan in it’s technology. The camera takes a 360 view around the test taker. Anything suspicious is flagged. The suspicious things could be another person in the room or another voice in the room.

Having these things as suspicious can create lots of flags for the at home student. How can they guarantee no one will walk through the room they are taking the test in? Even if they wait until people are asleep there can still be noise form people talking or coughing in their sleep that the microphone will pick up. How can the students prove that had nothing to do with their test taking?

The university also gets a share in the proceeds after they receive the first 10,000 Securexams of the company. That’s a pretty good incentive for the college to push online enrollment.

Webassessor is another system that recognizes typing styles and images. Notice that if the keystroke pattern is not the same as when you registered the test can be turned off. If one is taking online classes, doesn’t it stand to reason that ones typing skills would improve over the course? Apparently improving your typing skills is detrimental with this assessment system.

It also does not say that you can turn the keystroke logger off, so this means that the things you do outside of exam time are logged. In other words, everything you do on the computer would be logged and filed, whether or not you take a test.

This same assessment also goes by photograph-so if the way you look now does not match the photo you submitted at registration, you can’t take the test. That means no drastic hairstyle changes such as long to short or vice versa or coloring your hair.

That’s a lot of control for a third party to have over ones life.

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