Policy on ID Verification for Online Courses

Last update: 02/12/2019 - 4:02pm

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Reason for Policy

To ensure academic honesty and integrity of online courses.


Entities Affected

Faculty, GTFs, and any instructor of a UO online course offered through a CAS unit or by a CAS instructor.


Enactment & Revisions

Enacted: September 2015

Effective: January 1, 2016


Policy Statement

To ensure academic integrity and discourage identity fraud, all instructors of CAS online courses must use one of the following methods to verify identification (ID) of students in online courses:

  1. Offer proctored exams through the Social Science Instructional Lab (SSIL), or proctor their own exams in person.  In either case, ID verification of the students at the time of the exam is required.
  2. Use anti-plagiarism software to evaluate major written assignments.

We do not require that every single assignment in an online course undergo a rigorous ID verification.  Quizzes, homework assignments, and other exercises that each comprise a small portion of a student’s grade may be exempt.  However, we expect that exams and major written assignments compose the majority of the grade (i.e., 50% or more) in a course and will be subject to these ID verification procedures.

While there are other ways to discourage ID fraud in an online environment, such as having students sign honor declarations or using strategic exam questions and delivery methods, these measures are generally not adequate to deter ID fraud.  SSIL has tested several services that would allow students to take exams outside of a proctored environment.  In each case, they have discovered areas of insecurity in such systems that would allow a student access to inappropriate information.

Instructors may propose alternatives, but they will have to be evaluated by SSIL staff and receive final approval from Phil Scher (adsocialsci@uoregon.edu). Dean Scher may consult with the CAS Curriculum Committee at his discretion.

Several years ago, SSIL established a set of online education standards, which are consistent with other major university online education standards and address issues like secure testing environments, positive identification, and student integrity.  See links to the right.