We continue to take security, identity, and assessment in online courses seriously:
- Blackboard requires a secure login and password for access to the courses. These are the same login and password established for the student information system (Wiser) and umb.edu email.
- Most professors use a combination of projects and written assignments rather than just examinations in student assessment.
- Blackboard itself has an exam component that is sparingly used by some of our instructors, more often than not as a formative rather than summative evaluative tool. Exam questions are randomly chosen from a question pool and answers to multiple choice questions are also randomized.
- Most instructors realize the difficulty in ascertaining the identity of an online student and adjust their pedagogical style to accommodate; assignments are personalized and require application of concept rather than a retelling of factual information.
- Additional tools that are used for security are: Respondus Lock Down Browser which restricts additional browsers being open during an exam; Respondus Monitor which requires the use of a webcam in order for the student to show a picture ID and their testing environment as well as capture images of the student throughout an exam for instructor review; and Safe Assign and Turnitin, two anti-plagiarism software applications which compare submitted assignments to databases of web pages, student papers, and articles from academic books and publications. Also, the synchronous component (Blackboard Collaborate, Adobe Connect, FUZE) in every course allows an instructor to better monitor who is in the course.