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Nov 17, 2013 (4 years and 4 months ago)


By Denise Ogden


Using Biometrics in online learning systems

By Denise Ogden


Because of the growing popularity of online learning, there is
an increased need for online universities to find ways to
authenticate student identity.

There is a need to know whether or not the student enrolled
is the one actually doing the work.

Biotemetrics is needed to authenticate student identity in
online learning systems.

Is the goal of online learning institutions to educate
those who are enrolled or to simply make money?


Ph. D. student, Pranab Mohanty (2007) study focused on using a
mantle for hand or face recognition.

Levy & Ramim (2008) focused on learner’s response to
multibiometric systems.

Pons & Polack (2008) focused on potential future users of
biometrics who have the choice between using and not using


Lead Thinkers: Government Officials

Researchers work closely with government officials in
developing high tech biotechnology devices.

Evidence of biotechnology is seen in airports, some
intersections, and mostly in crime solving.

Apple products that uses a form of biometric technology

These devices prove that use of biometric technology is not as costly and difficult to use
as they once were. Would it be to much to ask that online learning universities employ
biometric technology to ensure student authentication?


Biometric technology not fully used by online learning

Hearsay, Blackboard uses some form of biometric
technology, but research has not confirmed this.

One potential problem with use of biometric software is
compromising users’ privacy.

Cost of Development

of implementation must be considered: How much

will it for universities to install a biometric
device on learning platforms? Will the costs outweigh the



development of device that is conducive to an
online platform learning system; pilot test, applied research


university funded

Marketing, packaging, and distribution will depend on the
success of the product. In addition, online learning
universities will need to determine the importance of
authenticating students’ identities.

Decision Process of

Knowledge Stage

Biologists studied organisms and cells

Increase of understanding of organisms and cells led to control of
the their many functions

Computer Scientists used a form of biotechnology, called
biometrics for recognition of eyes, hands, fingers, faces, and
body movement

Persuasion Stage



Face Recognition

Body movement


Voice Recognition

Hand or palm geometry

Eye scan


Decision Stage


the U.S. Army put fingerprints to use.

Within the next three years, the U.S. Navy started, and
was joined by the Marine Corp.

During the next 25 years more and more
law enforcement agencies join in the

use of fingerprints as a means of personal

Decision Stage

Most Popular Form of Biometric is use of fingerprints

Explanation of Previous Diagram

Finger touches the silicon sensor, pattern of ridges and
valleys is determined by the capacitance at any point
during cycle of charging and discharging the capacitor

The data are scanned at 500 dots per inch, converted to
digital form,

A map of unique finger characteristics is created on the
basis of minutia detection.

This map is then compared with a data bank of known

Implementation Stage

Forensics use Fingerprint DNA

Home Security Systems

Surveillance cameras in schools, workplace, airports, traffic

CCTV to fight crime

Webcams for social networking and education



A biometric technology

using complex algorithms

to enhance the security of
computer use.

Log onto computer using face

Journaling account logins helps identify hijacked accounts
and can determine who logged in using stolen credentials.

Enables users
to add safe
access in
folders and
secure access
to Windows


will recognize
your presence and
provide access as long
as you face the camera
directly. In addition,
O2Face provides
several other modules,
including Live Detection,
Leave Detection, Face
Sense, SSO for
websites, etc.

Confirmation Stage

Using surveillance cameras in airports was first seen as an
invasion of privacy

Face recognition devices are controversial regarding minors;
therefore the education system has to make some decisions

Word of Mouth, usually by innovators

Research Journals


Channels of Communication



The S
Curve of Biometrics

Computer Scientists use
biotechnology, coining it:


Early 1980’s


Face Recognition

Voice Recognition

Hand or palm geometry

Eye Scan

Signature Dynamics


Brave people, pulling the

very important to

Early Adopters

Respectable people,
opinion leaders

Try out new ideas,

but in a careful way

Early Majority

Thoughtful people,

accepting change more

quickly than the average

Late Majority

Skeptic people


Will use new ideas or products

only when the majority is using it


Traditional people, caring for
the 'old ways'

Critical towards new ideas
and will only accept it if the new idea has
become mainstream or even tradition

Explanation of Rate

The rate of biometric use is growing due to the government’s
need to stop terrorism.

Another reason for the increase growth is the low cost of
computers and other software to produce biometric devices.

In terms of using biometrics for distance learning, the cheapest,
yet most full
proof solution is a fingerprint device

Biometrics in the Future

Growing and controversial field

Civil liberties groups concern over privacy and identity

Biometric laws and regulations are in process and biometric
industry standards are being tested.

Face recognition biometrics not reached the prevalent level
of fingerprinting

B/C of constant technological pushes & the threat of
terrorism, researchers and biometric developers will hone
this security technology for the twenty
first century.

Distance Learning & Future Use of

Regional accreditors state they will not stress the use of
authentication technologies.

Online & distance learning universities are required to use, at
minimum, a secure login and pass code or proctored exam
and, as they become available and widely accepted, new
identification technologies and practices.

When biological technology becomes further
advanced, human beings as we know them, will
become a modified species. If we as human
beings fail to include the possibility of this
development in our overall, social evolution we
will witness the decline of our species”
Fresco The Best that Money Can’t buy, Beyond
Politics, Poverty, and War.

Quote on future use of

Innovators/Early Adopters

The innovators and early adopters of biometrics are
government agencies and computer scientists.

Some strategies to get online universities to adopt biometrics
for authentication may include trialability, relative advantage,
and compatibility.



feel that using biometric software is a an

Invasion of


Observability and trialability are related to the rate of
adoption (Rogers, 2003);


All are necessary to diffuse biometrics to the
mass of online universities.


Use of

Corporation and
Blackboard^" Inc




Change Agent



Most likely key change agents for biometric
technology b/c of their collaboration on
securing online learning activities in the past.

Key Change Agents


Critical Mass met in Society

Critical mass has not been reached in distance learning

Recommend: Incentives for early adoption is free service for a
year to a piloted distance learning institute.


U. S. Department of Education mandate

For accreditation, all institutions of distance learning and higher
education need to improve on student authenticity.

Is the goal of online learning institutions to educate
those who are enrolled or to simply make money?

Are you a champion for the use of
biometric technology for student


Levy, Y. & Ramim, M.M. (2009). Initial Development of a Learners'
Ratified Acceptance of Multibiometrics Intentions Model.
Interdisciplinary Journal of E
Learning and Learning Objects.

McNabb, L. (2010). An update on student authentication:
Implementation in context.
Continuing Higher Education Review,
74. Retrieved from ProQuest database.


Mohaunty, P. (2007).
Learning from biometric distances: Performance and
security related issues in face recognition systems
dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest database.

Pons, A. & Polak, P. (September 2008). Understanding user
perspectives on biometric technology.
Communications of ACM,
51(9). DOI:10.1145/1378727.1389971

Rogers, E. M. (2003).
Diffusion of Innovations


ed). New York, NY:
Free Press.