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Announcing BioSig-ID for UMKC Online Student Authentication

Announcement iconDuring the past three terms, faculty, staff, and students piloted solutions from Examity, ProctorU, and BioSig-ID in an attempt to identify a tool to use to verify students’ identities in online courses. Each tool was evaluated for accuracy, security, management, scalability, ease of use, and cost. Pilot faculty and students provided valuable feedback to the UMKC Online team to assist in selecting BioSig-ID as UMKC’s online student authentication solution.

Why Is This Important?

To discourage cheating related to identity fraud of students in online courses, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) requires accreditors to ensure that institutions have processes in place to verify that the person who registers in online courses also completes the coursework. The Department of Education requires accreditors to make certain that institutions verify students’ identities through (1) secure logins and passwords, (2) proctored tests, or (3) identification technologies and practices as they become widely accepted. However, logins and passwords are not necessarily a secure mechanism, as students can easily share this information. Proctored tests are also limited in scope and do not address all forms of cheating. Other technologies and practices such as biometrics, knowledge-based authentication, and web video recording have emerged as more viable options to detect and deter cases of online identity fraud.

BSI logoHow Does BioSig-ID Work?

BioSig-ID is a patented signature gesture biometric technology used specifically for identity authentication. The software easily integrates into Blackboard and does not require any additional hardware or software downloads, can be used on any PC or mobile device anywhere, anytime, and does not collect personal identifying information. BioSig-ID measures the unique way a user moves their mouse, finger, or stylus by capturing the speed, direction, length, height, width, and angle of the user’s mouse, stylus, touch screen, or touchpad movements as they log in with a signature password created with BioSig-ID, and it can distinguish that student’s pattern from all others. In seconds, the software can ensure that the student who registered for that online course is the same student who accesses an exam, gradable event, and completes the coursework.

What does this mean for you?

BioSig-ID will be implemented later this year, beginning in fully online programs. Training will be offered for all faculty in advance of the integration of BioSig-ID into their Blackboard courses. Once BioSig-ID is integrated, faculty will experience little to no impact on their teaching. Should students need assistance using BioSig-ID, help will be offered by the Information Technology Services’ Help Desk on campus. There will be no additional costs to the students using BioSig-ID.

Have additional questions or comments? Please contact Melissa Messina or Lara Mabry.