[Athen] Distance Education Requirements

Laurie Vasquez Vasquez at sbcc.edu
Sun Oct 5 13:26:28 PDT 2008


A WCET webinar was given on Oct. 1.
Below are notes from one of the participants. This will be an ongoing discussion for everyone and will require full participation and feedback.
Stay tuned,
Laurie Vasquez
On October 1, WCET presented a Webinar on the new "student authentication" requirements for distance learning courses mandated by the Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act, just signed by the President.

This has implications for every College offering distance courses as well as ACCJC/WASC.

The Webinar has been archived, and WCET has kindly given permission for free access to the education community. The link follows, after which are my notes from the Webinar.
* * *

The WCET webcast, "What's around the corner? Clarifying Student Authentication in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008," aired live on Wed. Oct, 1, 2008 using Ellumiante Live!

We thank you all for your participation and patience in making this webcast a great success. In the best interest of the distance education community, WCET has decided to allow unrestricted access to the archive of this webcast. The information is important, timely and relevant to all of higher education so we will not limit its access to WCET members only.

The link to access this webcast archive is:

The link will open the Elluminate Live! site and download the archive. Please be patient, I can take several minutes to load before it will play.

* * *
Clarifying Student Authentication in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (Webinar) 1 Oct

Attendees include Barbara Beno; LeBaron Woodyard; Chico State; 67 participants at 11:08.
Fred Lokken (Chair, Instructional Technology Council)

* concerned about double standard for online courses
* privacy rights for students at remote locations
* clarifying language that accompanies the bill: focus is on authenticating the student, no need to place an undue burden of cost on students
* 4 million students taking distance ed courses
* a lot of ignorance about DE in Washington, DC
* committee staff was reacting to particular concerns, but it's too late now
* have to be careful not to create "two classes" of students (online and f2f) in the process
* NSF report on DE is required by HEOA
* he was surprised to learn that some schools don't require any log in to their online courses (thus no authentication whatsoever)
Kay Gilcher, Senior Policy Analyst, Dept. of Ed.

* public Law 110-315; changes affect DE in Titles I & IV
* Title I - general provisions, section 103 - new def. of DE
* basic definition of DE: "the definition of distance education is in the HEOA, Title I. Basically, it is the use of one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously."
* includes "the use of one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between students & the instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously" [the point is to prevent online correspondence courses, but we need to get more info: does the law forbid online correspondence courses?? No; but investigate]
* Restructuring of NACIQI (agency for ensuring quality instruction)
* requires annual reports on Distance education demonstration programs, but this Demo program is now defunct though authorized
* Title IV, Part H - recognition of accrediting agencies
* those agencies including DE in scope "must demonstrate that its standards effectively address the quality of education offered in these modalities" (though not required to have separate standards, procedures, or policies-new!)
* concerns about rapid growth of DE - accrediting agencies required to monitor growth of programs at schools experiencing significant growth; review of any addition of DE or correspondence if enrollment of school offering DE or correspondence increases by 50% or more in an institutional fiscal year
* requirement placed on accred. agencies that schools can establish that the student who registers is the same student who participates in and completes the work and gets the academic credit. Now in effect
* negotiated rulemaking provision with public hearings and so on so rules effective July 1, 2010.
* rulemaking involves setting up committees and several negotiating sessions; publication of final rule Nov. 1, 2009; effective date July 1, 2010.
* Dept. of Ed. may send "dear colleague" letter to accred agencies with interim rules
* in the meantime: congress does not intend that schools have to adopt technological mechanisms right away to verify identity, but passcodes required; technological solutions may come later (it's clear that a passcode doesn't address who's actually taking the course)
* Title XI studies - no money for study on comparison of quality DE vs. campus-based learning (but final report, if funded, due June 30, 2010)
* www.ed.gov/HEOA<http://www.ed.gov/HEOA>
* typically enrollment growth is in terms of head count rather than credit hour production, but negotiated rulemaking may change that
* under the current definition, a Web-enhanced course using Bb would not be considered distance ed. and thus not included in measurement guidelines (doesn't resolve the issue of hybrids)

Note from Barbara Beno in chat: ACCJC has told institutions that by 2010, what ever the new regulations require will be implemented. We've told them we'll start working with them to train and prepare them in self study, and we'll be training teams. In addition, the Regional Accreditors are going to work together to develop a common approach, and will be involved in neg reg.
Lori McNabb, www.uttc.org<http://www.uttc.org/>, academic integrity in online education

* reference to Feb. WCET briefing paper
* what is dishonesty? Plagiarism, self-plagiarism (same assignment for two or more courses when forbidden), unpermitted collaboration, unauthorized help; cheating (incl. getting copy of test from others; using outside materials when not allowed, etc.-incl. when a student has someone else complete coursework-this is what is addressed by the law)
* creating culture of integrity
* capella university online writing center
* university of maryland - VAIL (Virtual Academic Integrity Lab) - for faculty and students
* MERLOT and other materials for anti-plagiarism - set up Bb shell
* utah valley state - spoof of Letterman - video of person on street with questions about cheating
* course design ideas
* utah valley state - cheatability rubric
* links within LMS to campus policies
* submittable form student fills out with email and name - kept in campus database
* Questionmark Secure
* javascript Code within Bb keeps student from being able to copy (bit of code added to instructions within quiz)
* SafeAssign
* creation of ethical community
* identity verification technologies:
* password requirements
* traditional proctoring
* Acxiom uses biographical data which creates challenge exams for individual
* Software Secure Secureexam remote proctor
* Kryterion Webassessor (gathers biometric data)
* attributes of a typical cheater: males, undergrads, younger, unmarried, students with low gpa's; business students (declining a bit); engineering students; increasing: explicit test cheating, collaborative cheating, cheating by women
* lmcnabb at utsystem.edu<mailto:lmcnabb at utsystem.edu>
* in grade school many students are constantly encouraged to work together; in college now they're told that they can't collaborate-a cultural issue!
* cost of technologies - acxiom factcheck (finished beta testing, 6 or 7 schools using this semester); secure exam: commercially available; kryterion has been available for a while. All being represented at WCET conference.
* use of these technologies fairly low so far; acxiom around $10 per student per test (but new pricing models available); remote proctor: (troy u.) $150 purchased through bookstore. Acxiom is working with Bb with some clients in queue. Kryterion can be integrated with Bb, too (maybe).
Kay Gilcher (in Q&A period)

* hard to say what will have to change; schools work with accred. agencies
* at the least - secure login; looking at course integrity & design (also need to educate lawmakers about what is being done now)
Lori McNabb

* do some research - are DE students cheating more than f2f students? (has access to standardized study results)
My question-how likely will it be that accred. orgs will mandate expensive tech. solutions?

* Fred - what data or just perception of different behavior online? Could result in real expense for students
* Rhonda Epper - we've bought some time, with secure logins and course design, but schools should be looking at some of these tech. solutions
* Kay Gilcher - surprised at suspicion of DE at federal level; but the range of schools is very broad and some of the things that do go on aren't so good for the integrity of DE (DE for some is a big money-maker!) - so that's where a lot of the law comes from

Q-collecting biometrics on students - privacy? will come up during negotiated rulemaking

CSUC asks if the tech. products mentioned are section 508 compliant.
Q-Portland Comm. College (John Smead??)

* Lori - if we focus on authenticating tests then online will be only about testing (since it's relatively easy for tests to be proctored)
Q-Penn State - notarization possible?

* Lori - haven't heard about this

Q-LeBaron - tech. element for CCC's would be expensive-Title 5 regs surrounding fees-would have to be approved by legislature & gov. for new fees to be instituted. A fee for assessment would likely be prohibited by California Title 5.
Rhonda Epper

* suggests flex programs for considering enhancing academic integrity
* working with IT on technical authentication
* a WCET e-topic
* molly mcgill wcet staff mmcgill at wcet.info<mailto:mmcgill at wcet.info>

>>> Helen Ostrander <helen_ostrander at wvm.edu> 10/4/2008 2:01 PM >>>

Hi All,

With the new Higher Education Act just being signed, I was wondering
if any of you have discussed the following:

"..to have processes through which the institution establishes that
the student who registers in a distance education course or program
is the same student who participates in and completes the program and
receives the academic credit." Does anyone have a policy statement
or guideline for student authentification?


Helen Ostrander
Disability Instructional Support Center (DISC)
Mission College
3000 Mission College Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054-1897
408.855.5449 FAX
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