Date of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Type



Computer Science

First Advisor

Margaret McManus


A comprehensive evaluation of La Salle University’s online authentication systems and processes with recommendations for enhancement.

With the Higher Education Opportunity Act, the U.S. Secretary of Education has instituted new requirements for recognition of students enrolled in online programs. This recognition requirement applies to validation that the enrolled student is the same person who completes online assignments, testing and coursework. In order to comply with this requirement, programs must prove that they adhere to their university guidelines for validating online course work or by creating their own policies. This paper first describes online education including its benefits, challenges and problems with cheating, especially in light of federal and accreditation requirements.

This paper follows the process that a university technology director would use to evaluate an opportunity for change and the benefits that the change would provide.

The paper then examines La Salle University’s online education, technologies and online class design and support resources. The implications regarding online policies, academic integrity and privacy are considered. Solutions to prevent online cheating are described through best practice strategies and technology solutions.

The recommendations in this document consider the current accreditation requirements issued by the U.S Secretary of Education through the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA.) Several technological solutions are evaluated and compared, focusing on the features that the solutions provide, cost, and the ease of integration into LaSalle University’s current systems. Finally, this paper evaluates existing processes and provides recommendations for process optimization.