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Acxiom Teams with PupilCity To Authenticate Test Takers

PupilCity and Acxiom have teamed up to address authentication needs of distance learners. Students completing online work proctored by PupilCity's ProctorU service will be able to verify--via Acxiom's identity services--that they are the ones enrolled in the course. They log on to the PupilCity Web site, scan their surroundings with a Web cam, and then answer unique questions that authenticate their identity. Exam proctors, connected via monitors, can then observe students taking assessments.

Recently, Acxiom announced a similar arrangement with Blackboard.

"We evaluated several options, and the PupilCity solution met our needs for cost, academic integrity, and student satisfaction," said Dwight Layton, chief information officer for California Southern University.

The Acxiom-PupilCity partnership addresses new federal requirements that higher education institutions show evidence of how they verify identities of distance learners during the accreditation process.

"Acxiom's authentication services provide a crucial piece for our method of achieving academic integrity," said Jarrod Morgan, PupilCity's technology coordinator. "We can monitor the students as well as their screen and audio while they are taking an exam, and Acxiom lets us know that we are observing the correct person."

The student identity verification is performed over the Internet. Acxiom's authentication system asks verification questions that only the student enrolled in the course can answer. The questions are based on information contained in Acxiom's risk mitigation solutions. Acxiom's risk identification products have traditionally been used for authenticating online banking transactions.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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