As online classes grow in popularity, the issue of online cheating also may grow in prominence unless courses are designed carefully. Part of the solution involves combating cheating technology with better preventative technology.
Blackboard, an education-software company, has developed learning-management software that features a service that checks papers for signs of plagiarism. Blackboard's John Fontaine is developing a new system that could establish a document fingerprint for each student when they turn in their first assignments, and notice if future papers differ in style in suspicious ways.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers are looking for new ways to verify the identity of students online by analyzing each user's typing style to help verify identity. This type of electronic fingerprinting could be combined with face-recognition software to ensure accuracy, says MIT's Anant Agarwal.
Recently, 100 researchers met at the University of Kansas at the Conference on Statistical Detection of Potential Test Fraud and agreed that groups that offer standardized tests, companies that develop anti-cheating software, and researchers need to work together and share their work. "It's important that the research community improve perhaps as quickly as the cheating community is improving," says University of Kansas professor Neal Kingston.
From The Chronicle of Higher Education
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