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Federal Requirement 4.8
Distance Education - Verification of Student Identity

15. An institution that offers distance or correspondence education documents each of the following:

4.8.1 demonstrates that the student who registers in a distance or correspondence education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives the credit by verifying the identity of a student who participates in class or coursework by using, at the option of the institution, methods such as (a) a secure login and pass code, (b) proctored examinations, or (c) new or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification.

Judgment of Compliance:

Compliance

Narrative/Justification for Judgment of Compliance:

Florida Gateway College (FGC) verifies the identity of all students who register for a distance education course by enforcing the student’s use of a secure login and Personal Identification Number (PIN) or password. The college informs students the importance of protecting their login information since it allows access to their student records and coursework. The college does not offer correspondence education courses.

The college uses Blackboard as the learning management system for all courses. Blackboard requires each student to have a unique username and PIN or password to enter the system.

At the time of admission [1], a student is given a student ID number, a temporary PIN and a college email account. Students are required to update their PIN upon initial log in to their MyFGC [2] account. MyFGC is the college’s student registration and records system. A PIN must be between 8 and 16 characters in length and consist of only numbers and/or letters, and no special characters. The system will not allow a PIN that does not meet the minimum qualifications. Students are also required to set up two security questions. The security questions are used for future updates to the student PIN number. The same PIN is used for their Blackboard and college email account. For security purposes a process [3] is followed to authenticate the identity of any student regarding PIN questions or release of student information.

FGC expects students to be honest in all of their academic work and to have acceptable behavior as a member of the college community. The Student Code of Conduct, which is listed in the Student Handbook [4] and catalog [5], expects students to function within acceptable guidelines in an educational environment. FGC District Board of Trustees (DBOT) Policy, Student Discipline 6Hx12:9-08 [6], states no student shall receive or give assistance not authorized by the instructor in the preparation of any essay, laboratory assignment, examination, or other assignment included in an academic course. Each course syllabus contains the Academic Integrity statement which states at a minimum, “You may not purposefully deceive any official of the college by cheating on any assignment, examination, or paper. Cheating is the use of anyone else’s work, whether he/she is a student or not, as your own. A student may be withdrawn from a course with the grade of F if found to have cheated on any course assignments or tests.” Faculty members receive the Syllabus Checklist [7] and Faculty Handbook [8], both of which contain the required statements that must be on all syllabi.

Students complete assessments in an online course in a variety of ways. In a course, such as Speech, that expects a synchronous skill, Collaborate™, which is a web conferencing tool embedded in Blackboard, can be utilized. A live synchronous session with the instructor and other students can be performed. Some instructors offer testing online through Blackboard. These tests are often randomized, timed tests. Proctored testing is also offered to students through the FGC Testing Center at no charge. Most major exams are proctored exams at the Testing Center. Students are required [9] to show a government-issued photo ID to take an exam in the Testing Center. All procedures of the Testing Center are outlined in the Testing Center Guidelines [10]. Students can also take an exam at an approved off-campus testing site. There may be an additional charge for this service. The Remote Test Site Proctor Approval Form [11] is located on the college website. It must be submitted to the FGC Testing Center for approval of an off-campus testing facility.

[1] Admission Notification to Students
[2] MyFGC Secure Login
[3] Authenticate Student Identity
[4] Student Handbook Code of Conduct
[5] Catalog Code of Conduct
[6] FGC DBOT Policy Student Discipline 6Hx12:9-08
[7] Syllabus Checklist
[8] Faculty Handbook
[9] FGC Test Center Identification Requirements
[10] FGC Testing Guidelines
[11] Remote Test Site Proctor Approval Form
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Page Last Updated: July 13, 2015