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MOOCs May Facilitate Fraudulent Degrees

19 Nov

By Robert Siciliano

Ever hear of MOOCs? The acronym stands for massive open online courses: the free online courses taught by professors at leading universities.

MOOC business model problems

  • Cheating: Professors can’t tell just how much students rely on Google for help during an exam. A proposed solution has been that students take exams at regional testing centers, but barriers to this include: access to these centers especially in multiple countries, cost and convenience – after all these are free courses.
  • Student identity: Who’s to say the person taking the test isn’t an imposter and not the person who will actually get the grade?
  • Completion rate: Even something as simple as having skin in the game can make students feel more engaged. Most MOOCs are free, so students don’t feel a financial bite if they drop a course or perform poorly.

Many prominent schools, such as MIT, are investing significant resources in MOOCs; however, the viability and success of MOOCs will be ultimately be determined by the legitimacy of the degrees received–and that goes back to the legitimacy of the identities of the people who study the courses and take the final exams.

Remote proctoring

Just like sitting in a classroom under the supervision of a teacher, students need to be monitored as they are sitting in front of their PC, phone or tablet to ensure that they in fact are the ones that took the test.

How does remote proctoring work?

One proctor can monitor via webcams a maximum of six students simultaneously, keeping on the alert for suspicious behaviors such as suddenly wandering eyes.

[ Full article available at The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-siciliano/moocs-may-facillitate-fra_b_4302001.html ]

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Posted by on November 19, 2013 in MOOCs in the News

 

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