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EduKan director reports advances in online education
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Technology that monitors mouse clicks and other information is being used to combat identity fraud on the Internet, the director of EduKan said. The e-college consortium formed by six community colleges, including Barton Community College, is using Biometric Signature Identification to stop students enrolled in online college courses from having someone else take their tests.
EduKan Director Dr. Mark Sarver reported to Barton Community College trustees last month. He said Biometric Signature ID software watches students who log in, checking their location, page clicks and other actions that can’t be readily duplicated by someone else.
“It’s as authentic as a fingerprint,” Sarver said, adding EduKan was able to catch students who tried to have someone else take tests for them.
Biometric Signature ID Inc. is a Dallas-based software company. According to the EduKan website, the ID software is highly effective and has reduced proctoring costs by 80 percent.
That’s especially important since students can be almost anywhere in the world. They enroll in courses through one of the EduKan member colleges. In addition to Barton, the consortium includes Colby, Dodge City, Garden City, Pratt and Seward County community colleges. Other learning institutions have joined the consortium as associate members; the newest is the New Hampshire Institute of Art.
Sarver told BCC trustees another new development at EduKan is offering general education courses taught in Spanish. Seven courses are available this fall and there are plans to expand. Now the consortium is receiving requests for courses taught in Turkish. “There is no institution competing for the adult learner in Turkey,” Sarver said.
EduKan is also launching a mastery based algebra course that allows students to complete the class quickly if they understand the material or to “take a little more time if you need,” Sarver said. More mastery based courses are in the works.
The six community colleges formed the consortium when online education was in its infancy, at least in Kansas, offering the first e-courses in the fall of 1999. Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said that while BCC has its own e-college platform, BartOnline, it still enrolls student through EduKan as well. “There’s a mutual benefit,” for BCC and for EduKan, he said.