Authentication in Education

Authentication in Education2018-08-16T10:53:38+00:00

Student authentication is critical to higher education and distance learning. BioSig-ID provides an answer to fulfilling the new mandates from the Office of Inspector General (adopted by Dept. of Ed) that say a password/PIN login is no longer enough to establish student identity. Student authentication is required. The focus is not just academic intregrity, but stopping financial fraud.

This sea change now ties Title IV funding to student identity.

student authentication at computer desks

What the New Identity Rules Mean

The new mandates call for student authentication throughout the course, not just at the beginning or for an exam. Schools must conclusively establishing whether the student that registers is the SAME person that attempts access to the LMS or any virtual asset.

Key Points:

  • It is no longer valid to ID students only at exam time.
  • Proctoring won’t work as a solution unless you do it every time your students log in.
  • The rules are time-sensitive. You need a new identity solution prior to upcoming accreditation.
  • The likelihood of ever-more stringent ID regulations is high. The issue is not going away.
  • Wouldn’t it be great to secure all your students’ activites? Like non-exam courses and courses that use interactive learning (quizzes, chats, tests)?
  • The Dept. of Education identified lack of student authentication as one of the 4 major management issues in Distance Education. Read the OIG’s report on Distance Learning challenges.

The reauthorized Higher Education Act requires an institution that

“offers distance education 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 academic credit.”

What does that mean to you? In a nutshell, it means that simply taking attendance when a student takes an exam is not going to be enough when it comes to accreditation. In order to truly verify that the student who registered is the same student participating in the course and therefore the same student earning the course credit, identity must be verified throughout the entire course and not just at exam time with the use of proctors.

Options for Student Authentication

Nothing short of a biometric solution – unequivocal identification – is going to work. However, most physical biometrics like iris, face scans or fingerprints carry risks. These cannot be replaced if lost or stolen, potentially leaving your institution open to liability. BioSig-ID is the only biometric solution that RESETS, eliminating this issue entirely. And not only that. BioSig-ID is privacy-friendly because it’s a gestural, not a biological, biometric. It can’t be lost or stolen. Should it ever be compromised (highly unlikely), the student would simply change their biometric password.

As the regulatory obligations surrounding Title IV funds become more intricate, choosing a trustworthy solution for student ID authentication is a key factor for schools to maintain compliance in the new identity landscape. In addition to authenticating a student’s identity at enrollment, continuous ID authentication throughout the course and accurate attendance records is essential for continued access to Title IV funds.

Simply put, usernames and passwords no longer provide the level of security needed to meet financial aid policy changes and accreditation regulations. This is also true for proctoring; it only looks at cheating at a single point in time and is not compliant with the new OIG/Dept of Education regulations.

BioSig-ID Solves Your Student Authentication Problems

BioSig-ID affordably solves the issue of continuous student ID verification compliance while providing everyday security that proctoring can’t. Designed as education’s primary weapon in the fight against all types of fraud, it complements your use of proctoring for high stakes exams. Proctoring won’t make you compliant on new ID rules, but BioSig-ID will. BioSig-ID keeps imposters out, and prevents both academic and financial loan fraud.

BioSig-ID Helps You Fight Financial Fraud

Student authentication is not the only benefit with BioSig-ID. Do you know how much your institution is losing to Pell Grant fraud per year? What if you could recover some of those funds through using BioSig-ID and its fraud detection suite? A leading cause of compliance audits and judgments, inadequate ID verification represents a monumental risk to higher education institutions. BioSig-ID™ reduces this risk by providing the industry’s most complete solution for student authentication, with features that include:

  • True Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), the strongest form of identity authentication available.
  • A suite of comprehensive reports, including real-time attendance data and alerts to potential fraud.
  • Historical activity records to help mitigate risks.
  • Compliance with all 4 new rules for student ID verification.

Ideal for both distance learning and traditional institutions, BioSig-ID™ can be placed as a “gate” when a student:

    • Registers for school
    • Registers for a course
    • Signs in for interactive discussions
    • Signs in for actual coursework
    • Signs in for a gradable event/exam

These multiple gates allow your institution the ability to perform true multi-factor authentication on a continual basis throughout the course, and all for one low fee. This proven solution is now used by hundreds of thousands of students with millions of successful validations. One of our client schools recently hit a milestone with 50,000 students now using BioSig-ID.

LMS Integration

BioSig-ID™ easily integrates with your school’s LMS (LoudCloud, Blackboard, Schoolology, Moodle, Remote Learner, Desire 2 Learn, Moodlerooms and Canvas) including the gradebook, allowing faculty and staff to effortlessly access the current and historic activity of any BioSig-ID™ user. With its built-in attendance function, it relieves faculty of the burden of documenting who is in class. Implementing BioSig-ID for student authentication is easy. It’s a lightweight API integration and you receive a dedication team to ensure all goes smoothly.

lms biosig-id

Increasing Academic Integrity and Preventing Cheating

If you are serious about academic integrity you have to verify the student is the same one who registered throughout the course, not just at a single point like a final exam. Until now there wasn’t a valid solution that you could use to enable this everyday course security, which protects distance learning institutions. Now it’s available and low cost since BioSig-ID has an unlimited license – use it as often as you want in all your courses throughout the year all for the same cost.

Learn more about how BioSig-ID™ works here.