Student Identity Verification in Online Courses

The United States Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires colleges and universities to have processes in place to ensure that the student registered for a credit-bearing course(s) is the student participating in the course(s), completing the course(s), and receiving academic credit for the course(s). To ensure compliance with the HEOA, RIT has adopted the following Student Identity Verification in Distance Learning policy.

The Policy

Beginning Fall 2018, all online classes at RIT will follow the newly adopted Administrative Policy for Student Identity Verification in Distance Learning policy. As stated in this policy, faculty will be required upon posting final grades that they have verified each student's identity. Faculty will attest to this by either:

  • The student completion of the Student Identity Verification Checklist or
  • Verifying each student's identity through means outlined in the policy or
  • Making a reasonable attempt to verify each student's identity according to the policy

The Student Identity Verification Checklist

The Student Identity Verification Checklist (SIVC) goes above the minimum standard of a secure RIT log-in and asks a student to affirm who they say they are. The student will affirm four straight forward statements which will confirm their identity, they have read and understand the Computer Conduct Policy, the Academic Integrity Policy, and the course syllabus. As the instructor, this will provide you with the student's confirmation if an issue comes up in class. The SIVC will be a non-graded quiz to be completed during the first week of class.  

Embedding the SIVC

To embed the SIVC within Week 1, please follow the instructions below: 

  1. Download the SIVC Course Package
    1. If your web browser automatically expands the zip archive to a folder you will need to compress it back to a zip archive to use with myCourses.
    2. On Windows, right-click the folder and select Compress to Zip File.
    3. On MacOS, right-click the folder and select Compress [folder name].
  2. Import the SIVC Course Package into your course:
    1. In myCourses, open your course and click Course Admin on the navbar.
    2. Click Import/Export/Copy Components.
    3. Scroll down, select Import Components, then select From a Course Package below.
    4. Click Start.
    5. Drag and drop the zip file of the SIVC Course Package into the target area on the window indicated by the dotted line, or click the Upload button to select the zip file on your computer.
    6. Click Import All Components.
    7. Click View Content to complete the import. You can then click on Quizzes on the navigation bar to go to the Quizzes tool.
  3. Add a link in Content to the SIVC quiz: 
    1. In Content, go to the folder where you wish to include the SIVC quiz.
    2. Click the Add Existing Activities button, then select Quizzes.
    3. In the list of Quizzes, click on the Student Identity Verification Checklist quiz to select it.
  4. You may also wish to include a link to the SIVC quiz in your Week 1 Announcement and/or in an emailed welcome message.
  5. If a student did not complete the SIVC during Week 1, we advise sending an encouraging email reminding students to complete this requirement. 

If you have difficulty with embedding the SIVC, please contact the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Additional Information

Encouraging Completion of the SIVC

If you are concerned with students completing the SIVC, options for increasing completion rates include:

  • Set up individual content modules, assignments, or quizzes in myCourses to be locked to students until they complete the SIVC quiz. This is known as a release condition in myCourses. We recommend setting up a conditional release on the first week of content or the first week’s assignment or quiz.
  • Assign a point value to SIVC completion (if you choose this option, it should be reflected in the syllabus).

If you need assistance implementing these strategies in myCourses, please contact the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Connecting with Your Students

You may find that not every student may complete the SIVC or you may be looking for other opportunities to provide an engaging online learning environment. The following methods have been outlined within the updated policy to verify identity, but are also great ways to provide a greater personal connection within the online classroom:  

  • Web conferencing sessions (via Zoom)
  • Proctoring Services
  • Other technologies and practices

The Center for Teaching and Learning is available to discuss what method may work best within your online classroom.