- Online education can be taken up by anyone at any time. Students, faculties, housewives, employees and others can use their convenient time in schools, colleges, home, office etc for learning additional content during the working days, evening hours, or weekends. This method of learning is best suitable for everybody.
- In classroom teaching, the lecture can be listened only once and if a lecture class is missed, then the topic has to be prepared by the students themselves. It is not in the case of online education, the contents can be accessed any number of times and it also helps the students to revise during the exams.
- Teaching materials in e-Learning are planned based on the interest and needs of the learner. The online educators cover a large group of audience through their training with less effort. The learners are able to receive the same type of training with this learning mode.
- The cost incurred for training the trainers or the learners attending the classes is reduced as there is no cost for travel, accommodation etc.
- Lessons are wrapped in a single session which enables the completion of course faster.
- Learners can learn at their own speed according to their understanding capability.
- Learners can focus on some specific area instead of learning all areas.
- Corporates trained their employees using e-learning environment where they need not travel to the location and waste their time. The employees were able to earn online degrees and enrich their skill sets.
- Time is another important factor for both the learners and teachers. E-learning provides a flexible environment where everyone can learn the course at their convenient time. E-learning tools such as video tutorials, PDF documents, slideshows etc. are available to the users 24 x 7.
- Attending webinars or chatting with the professors online in the discussion forum enables students to increase their talents.
- E-Learning is an economical and more flexible environment which has increased the ratio of higher education.
Eventhough there are lot of benefits in e-learning, the security issues are also on raise. One of the major challenges is the inability of e-learning environment to authenticate examination takers. User authentication is one of the major concerns for E-assessment because unauthorized persons can access and manage information. Focus on applications like e-learning and online exams are gradually increasing. For this reason, there need to be some mechanism to authenticate these users whether they are valid user or not. Students learn the courses online and take up their exams also online. If the students clear the exams, they are provided with a certificate which will increase their credit scores. Hence, there are possibilities that an impostor may take up the exam and get good score. To avoid this, strong authentication methods together with username and password are required.
USER AUTHENTICATION IN ONLINE EXAMS:
Advancement in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has enabled the educational institutions to provide the educational resources to the students through online. Examinations are conducted to examine the knowledge of the student in a particular subject. Students are expected to do their best in the exams to be competent enough in today’s world. Online examination is an essential and vital element of E-learning. Security concerns associated with e-learning is on raise as there will be no physical invigilators to monitor the students during the exams. There is a chance that the students can easily deceive during the online exams. Some of the reasons why students’ cheat during online exams include aspiration for a better rank, parents’ expectation that their children have to score well in the exams, engaging themselves in other activities without learning for the exams, history of failure, accessibility of online information easily, possibility of being caught is less etc.
Some of the techniques followed by the students for cheating during the exams include creating programs which could fetch the right answers for the questions, trying to access google by opening a separate window, hiding the answers in water bottles etc. Cluskey, Ehlen, and Raiborn 2011, had discussed the various methods that are handled by the student during online exams. Few of those are: the questions may be attempted by one set of the students, who record the answers and distributes the answers to the remaining students, some students get the test banks and solution manuals through underground sources. (Moten, Fitterer, Brazier, Leonard, & Brown, 2013) had claimed that students’ copy and paste entire passage from the internet without citations on essay or short answer assessments and the author had also claimed that few websites allows student to submit exam questions and purchase the answers. Learners may obtain assistance from others to improve their examination results or have another individual take the examination for them (Fayyoumi & Zarrad, 2014).