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The Study Hall

The Rules Still Apply: What Higher Ed Can Learn From America’s Pastime

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As baseball season wraps up its third full week, some of the storylines that will define the 2018 season are already taking shape. The Yankees’ new sluggers are slugging — in more ways than one. The latest phenom from Japan is “already appointment television.” And as a Red Sox fan, I couldn’t be happier about the way we’ve started the season.

But some of the most interesting stories transcend individual players, or even individual teams. Baseball has always existed at the intersection of tradition and modernity, and that feels more apparent this year than ever. Pundits predict more home runs, strikeouts, and walks than ever before. Major League Baseball is establishing new rules to make the game faster.Amidst all this change, though, the unwritten rules of sportsmanship and honesty that define America’s pastime still apply — as one young player learned last week when his attempt to sneak in a hit led to an uproar (and a New York Times op-ed).

Those of us who work in higher education understand this tension between old and new. What goes on in today’s classrooms is increasingly dynamic — and today’s students come from an increasingly diverse cross-section of backgrounds. Nearly three-quarters of all college students possess at least one non-traditional characteristic — whether they are part-time students, full-time workers, parents, or students without a high school diploma. To meet the needs of this changing student population, colleges and universities are making online and mobile-friendly courses part of the mainstream. Nearly one-third of college students take at least one course online. And the vast majority want to use their cell phones in class — for academic purposes, that is.

With the explosion of new learning models comes plenty of creative attempts to break the rules. The majority of college students admit to having cheated at least once during their career as a student. At Examity, we’ve seen students come up with some incredibly creative ways to game the system -- from wearing hidden Bluetooth headsets to enlisting the support of friends hiding under the covers.

But just like in baseball, the rules of honesty and integrity still apply.

That’s where online proctoring comes in. As colleges and universities turn to online learning to expand access to thousands of students across the country, they need new tools to help ensure quality and security in online programs. Examity works with schools and certification providers around the country to offer custom-built solutions for online proctoring and identity verification, providing live, recorded, and fully automated proctoring to meet the unique needs of each institution or program. Our examiGO® mobile solution enables students to verify their identity through fingerprint scan and facial recognition, streamlining the proctoring process. We provide analytics tools to help institutional leaders spot patterns -- and take action to prevent test-taking violations.

Baseball, too, is using new strategies to solve old problems. The introduction of video replay last year has transformed the game, helping account for human error and bringing more clarity to complicated situations. Technology can help us do the same in higher education. Online proctoring solutions help ensure that students who play by the rules are recognized for their achievements, and that we can identify those who don’t.

Keep learning,

Michael London
Chief Executive Officer & President, Examity