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Student Authentication in Online Courses

The federal reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in 2008 requires that an institution accredited by an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education has “processes in place through which the institution establishes that the student who registers in a distance education or correspondence education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives the academic credit.”

Thus, Elmhurst University has instituted the following policy to address student authentication:

  1. Students in online or hybrid courses must access the campus learning management system (LMS) through a secure login provided by their Elmhurst University technology account. Electronic course work should be submitted only through the LMS or the Elmhurst University email system.
  2. At least one additional authentication measure must be implemented by course instructors in each online or hybrid course. Additional methods should be selected from the following list:

a. One remotely proctored examination using Respondus Monitor.

b. One on-campus proctored examination with photo ID verification.

c. One videoconference or in-person meeting with the instructor with photo ID verification with submission of major assignment or exam.

d. Three or more mandatory on-campus sessions with graded activities distributed throughout the semester. (This is the primary way hybrid courses will meet this requirement.)

In all cases, the exam or assignment should be worth a significant portion of the course grade. For 2d, graded activities may include participation. Authentication methods should be consistent among multiple sections of the same course. Departments and programs are ultimately charged with enforcement of additional authentication measures.

Instructors are welcome to propose alternate authentication plans for review by the Office of Academic Affairs. Instructors seeking clarification or alternate authentication plans should consult with one of the Assistant or Associate Deans in Academic Affairs.

Students in online or hybrid courses do not incur any additional fees for authentication activities in these courses. It is recommended that students in online or hybrid courses have access to a web camera and laptop or desktop computer. Students may consult with the Service Desk at servicedesk@elmhurst.edu if they have questions about accessing this technology on campus.

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