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When students enroll in classes online, how can you verify that they are really who they say they are? Verifying the identity of students who register for online courses presents challenges. And if your institution doesn't do it well, that enables them to behave in dishonest ways that range from cheating on tests to committing financial aid fraud.

eduKan, a consortium of six community colleges that provides online education in Kansas, verifies students’ identities using biometric signatures, said Mark Sarver, chief executive officer.

With BioSig-ID, students write their password with their computer’s mouse. No one else can duplicate factors in an individual’s password entry, including stroke speed, Sarver said.

“Most students never dream of cheating,” Sarver said. But those that do are likely to see BioSig-ID as a deterrent and choose to take their courses elsewhere, he said.

It takes students about four minutes to set up a BioSig-ID account, Sarver said. They can use it for all classes after that, across the consortium. Since many students take classes at multiple institutions, having one identification method for all of them is convenient for both the students and the institutions, he said.

Faculty members can set BioSig-ID to authenticate the student’s identity at times throughout the course. With proctored exams, a common solution to verifying the identity of online students, students produce identification only at the exam, Sarver said. But with BioSig-ID, the faculty member can ask them to verify their identity when they participate in discussions, when they submit assignments, and more.

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