Online Learning Update

February 21, 2013

Online Learning Classes Grapple With Stopping Cheats

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:01 am

By DOUGLAS BELKIN, Wall Street Journal

Traditional colleges and a new breed of online-education providers, trying to figure out how to profit from the rising popularity of massive open online courses, are pouring resources into efforts to solve a problem that has bedeviled teachers for centuries: How can students be stopped from cheating? Coursera, a Silicon Valley-based MOOC, recently launched a keystroke system to recognize individual students’ typing patterns. EdX, its East Coast rival, is employing palm-vein scans. Other strategies include honor codes, remote web-camera proctors and test-taking centers. “The concern [about online cheating] has been around for a while, but MOOCs’ scale is so large it really magnifies the issue,” said Cathy Sandeen, a vice president at the American Council on Education, which last week recommended that five Coursera classes should be eligible for academic credit, in part because they have standards in place to prevent cheating.

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