Part 3 - Federal Requirements
  

4.8.1  

An institution that offers distance or correspondence education demonstrates that the student who registers in a distance or correspondence education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives the credit by verifying the identity of a student who participates in class or coursework by using, at the option of the institution, methods such as (a) secure login and pass code, (b) proctored examinations, or (c) new or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification.

Compliance
Partial Compliance
Non-Compliance

Narrative

Distance learning is a formal educational process in which the majority of instruction (interaction between instructors and students) occurs when students and instructors are not in the same physical location.  At the University of New Orleans, distance learning courses may employ the internet, broadcast, audio, video, or recordings.  Instruction may be asynchronous or synchronous.

Asynchronous learning uses online learning resources to facilitate instruction outside the constraints of time and location.  Asynchronous course content at UNO is available through Moodle, an open source learning management system (LMS).  Online degree programs and courses are generally asynchronous. 

Synchronous learning refers to instruction that occurs at a designated class time through synchronous tools such as Adobe Connect, WebEx and Skype.  Synchronous instruction requires students to attend classes on a regular schedule.  The University of New Orleans does not offer any correspondence courses.

The University Distance Learning Policy and Guidelines have been informed by Louisiana Board of Regents Academic Affairs Policy 2.12, SACSCOC Policy Statement on Distance and Correspondence Education, as well as federal policies.  The policy and guidelines document is published on the Distance Learning website.

As stated in the University Distance Learning Policy and Guidelines, the University demonstrates that the student who registers in a distance or correspondence course or program is the same student who participates in, completes, and receives credit for the course through the following methods.

  1. The university verifies the identity of a student who participates in a distance education course by requiring the use of secure login and passcode procedures.  Unique usernames and secure passwords in the central campus student information system (WebSTAR) are required for the students to access all secure online and network campus resources. These online campus resources include, but are not limited to, access to the campus learning management system (Moodle) through which students must access their online coursework.  According to WebSTAR password guidelines, passwords must be at least 15 characters long, including at least one upper-case letter, one lower-case letter, and one number.  Previous passwords cannot be re-used, and passwords expire and must be changed every 180 days.  User account credentials are protected in accordance with industry standards and authenticated against our Microsoft Active Directory through a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) system. LAN account information is presented. 
     
  2. Distance learning coursework may require proctored examinations through the use of on- or off- campus approved testing sites or the university-approved online proctoring service, ProctorU.  In general, the proctor ensures the security and integrity of the exam process and requires the student to present an official form of photo identification (state-issued driver’s license, passport, or student ID) to verify student identification. ProctorU authenticates student identification by photo ID and requiring students to answer questions specific to the student from a public information database.
     
  3. The Office of Instructional Technology support staff encourages instructors to employ best practices in verifying online student identification and provides guidelines and assistance for promoting academic integrity.  Support staff provide regular training on online course design and the latest technologies and practices effective in verifying student identification, including requiring students to upload photo identification via Moodle, and requiring attendance in virtual classroom settings via Adobe Connect, Skype, and similar conferencing software.

The appendices included in the University Distance Learning Policy and Guidelines describe various technologies that may be used to ensure student authentication including plagiarism detection technologies, exam proctoring, webcam, and typing biometrics.

Each semester the Office of Academic Affairs reminds faculty teaching online courses of special measures (including authentication) associated with online teaching.  The following two memos and syllabus requirements document were disseminated to all faculty members prior to the Summer 2014 semester.

Mandatory authentication and syllabus requirements for online courses

Summer training schedule for online courses

University syllabus requirements document

In addition to information included on websites and course syllabi, a statement included in the Distance Education section of the Catalog  [Page: 186] ensures that students are made aware of authentication requirements associated with online courses.

To protect the integrity of its educational courses and programs, the university takes measures to ensure that a student awarded academic credit is the same student who successfully completes course requirements.  Students enrolled in any distance learning course may be required to participate in authentication methods such as a) secure login and pass code, b) proctored examinations, or c) new or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification.  There may be additional charges associated with this verification process.  If applicable, this authentication requirement and associated fees will be clearly stated on the course syllabus.

Supporting Documents

Document Description
Document IconLA_BOR_AA_Policy_2.12_Distance_LearningLouisiana Board of Regents Academic Affairs Policy 2.12: Distance Learning
Document IconMemo_Mandatory_Authentication_Syllabus_Addition_Online_CoursesMemo: Mandatory authentication and syllabus requirements for online courses – Summer 2014
Document IconMemo_Summer_Training_Schedule_Online_CoursesMemo: Summer training schedule for online courses – Summer 2014
Document IconSACSCOC_Distance_Learning_PolicySACSCOC Policy Statement on Distance and Correspondence Education
Document IconUNO Course Syllabus Requirements_Summer Fall 2014University Course Syllabus Requirements Document
Document IconUNO_CatalogUniversity of New Orleans Catalog
Document IconUNO_Distance_Learning_Policy_Guidelines_201302University Distance Learning Policy and Guidelines
Document IconUNO_Distance_Learning_WebsiteUNO Distance Learning website: Policy and Standards Section
Document IconUNO_LAN_Account_InformationLAN Account Information
Document IconUNO_Moodle_Training_WebsiteUNO Office of Instructional Technology Training
Document IconUNO_Moodle_WebsiteMoodle
Document IconUNO_Office_of_Instructional_Technology_WebsiteUNO Office of Instructional Technology Website
Document IconUNO_Password_GuidelinesUNO Password Guidelines
Document IconUNO_ProctorU_PortalUNO ProctorU Portal
Document IconUNO_WebSTAR_LoginWebSTAR Login Page