NIAGARA COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
eLearning

NCCC eLearning Academic Integrity
and Identification Process

Middle states and the Higher Education Opportunity Act require that we verify those students taking an online course are the actual students who enrolled in the course.

At NCCC we meet the requirements through the following:

  1. NCCC currently meets the HEOA-DL requirements as we have a system that provides students with secure logins and passwords. Each student is provided a unique Banner/Student ID and password, which is used to log into Blackboard learn, our LMS for online course delivery. This information is provided to students after they enroll in a course or program at NCCC.
  2. Prevention approaches we use within the course design of online courses:
    • Student awareness of Academic Integrity Policy - The first document that must be completed in each course is an Academic Integrity Survey. Each online student will see the NCCC Academic Integrity Policy that is listed in the NCCC Student Code of Conduct Handbook, and they are required to complete the one question survey that states he or she has read and understands the policy before completing any other course work.
    • Use of multiple assessment techniques in place of high stakes exams - Using multiple assessment techniques gives the instructor a wide sampling of student work so he or she can more easily spot uncharacteristic performance.
    • Assessment of higher levels of thinking - We encourage performance tasks with tangible outcomes so that students are required to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information. This makes it harder for the student to use someone else's work, as each response tends to be unique. It also gives the instructor a better recognition of each student's particular skills and proficiencies. This makes an instructor better able to recognize when a student turns in work that is not his or her own.
    • Greater reliance on written assignments and discussion - The more interaction in an online course and integration of content into assessments, the less chance someone can complete the work for a student.
    • Encourage faculty to student interaction - The more interaction between the faculty and student; the harder it is to get someone to assume another's identity to cheat in an online course.
    • Timed tests/Disable print - Blackboard, our LMS has the capability to time tests.
    • Make use of video recording or web conference technologies that allow faculty and students the chance to see, hear and get to know each other. You can use tools like Zoom or Voicethread to accomplish this. The students can show their college ID or other picture ID using such tools. . Some courses require students to upload a picture of their college ID to an icebreaker assignment before continuing on in the online course.
    • Plagiarism Detection Software - Blackboard Learn our campus-wide LMS has built in software called Safe Assign that can be used for plagiarism detection. We encourage faculty to provide students information on plagiarism, and link students to a tutorial on this topic in Atomic Learning.
  3. Proctored exams - For those courses with high stakes exams (e.g., the Math Department)–All online math courses require an on-campus or proctored exam. Each student is provided a document in the course information folder within each course stating the options for taking the exams and he or she is given a choice to come to campus or to use a qualified proctor. The proctor requirements and guidelines are provided to students in any course that requires an on campus or proctored examination. Students are required to show picture identification to the proctor or testing center, or instructor if coming on campus to take the exam.

Future/In discussion

We will continue to monitor the development of and best practices for security enhancements - As the menu of solutions increases, we will choose the best options and solutions to meet our needs. eLearning staff and the college CIO attended a SUNY and NUTN sponsored event at Monroe Community College in October 2015 to learn more about options for identity verification and bio signature technologies. Open SUNY is working on procurement to provide OPEN SUNY participants a series of options and direction on how to better ensure identity verification of online students. Open SUNY is also reaching out to Admissions and Financial Aid officers in SUNY to discuss the need to meet this requirement prior to enrollment in courses or programs and before financial aid distributions at their institutions.

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