- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Eye kept on online test takers
Question of the Day
The number of college students taking courses online is surging, creating a dilemma for educators who want to prevent cheating. Do you trust students to take an exam on their computer from home or work, even though it may be easy to sneak a peek at the textbook? Or do you force them to trek to a test center, detracting from the convenience that drew them to online classes in the first place?
The dilemma is one reason many online programs do little testing at all. But new technology that places a camera inside students’ homes may be the way of the future — as long as students don’t find it too creepy.
This fall, Troy University in Alabama will begin rolling out the new camera technology for many of its approximately 11,000 online students, about a third of whom are at U.S. military installations around the world.
The device, made by Cambridge, Mass.-based Software Secure, is similar in many respects to other test-taking software. It locks down a computer while the test is being taken, preventing students from searching files or the Internet. The latest version includes fingerprint authentication to help ensure the person taking the test isn’t a stand-in.
But the new development is a small Web cam and microphone set up where a student takes the exam. The camera points into a reflective ball, which allows it to capture a full 360-degree image.
When the exam begins, the device records audio and video. The software detects significant noises and motions, and flags them in the recording. An instructor can go back and watch only the portions flagged by the software to see whether anything untoward is going on — a student making a phone call, leaving the room — and if there is a surge in performance afterward.
The inventors concede it’s far from a perfect defense against a determined cheater. But a human test proctor isn’t necessarily better. And the camera at least “ensures that those people that are taking classes at a distance are on a level playing field,” said Douglas Winneg, Software Secure’s president and CEO.
Troy graduate students will start using the device starting in the fall, and undergraduates a year later.
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Cutler wins endorsement from gun control group
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Man says he shot burglar who said she was pregnant
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq