Southern Union State Community College

Security in an Online Course

Secure Login and Password:  Each distance education faculty member and student enters his/her unique user identification number and unique password to access the CANVAS learning management system.  This combination of user identification number and password identifies faculty members and students to the system upon each visit.  All parties accept responsibility for the security of their personal passwords and must not share them with anyone.  Student and faculty information is protected and separated from other users within the CANVAS learning/teaching environment and from outside intruders.

Unique Student Number:  The College issues each student a unique student identification number.  This number becomes the unique identifier for the student throughout his/her history at the College.

Mandatory On-Campus Sessions:  Students attending these mandatory on-campus sessions are required to present valid photo identification (e.g. driver’s license, College ID, military ID) in order to further protect their privacy and to confirm their identity for academic integrity purposes.  Any student who cannot present such identification may not participate in the activity.

Additional Security of Online Coursework:  Faculty members teaching online classes will promote the security of students’ personal data and course grades by (1) utilizing a course enrollment key and issuing it to enrolled students and approved guests only and (2) utilizing a course management system grade book that prohibits students from accessing other students’ grades or posting class grade reports that identify students by confidential code only. Many security features, such as those listed below, are provided within the course management system. Instructors are encouraged to utilize as many of these as necessary to ensure the safety, security and integrity of student coursework:

  • Embedded automatic “save” mechanisms which record student answers immediately upon entry for homework exercises and assignments to prevent accidental loss of data.
  • Frequent back-up of the online course and/or separate back-up of student assignment submissions.
  • Algorithmic generation of test and homework items which ensures each student receives a question with a different answer than every other student attempting the same problem.
  • Instructor-provided passwords for quizzes, tests, and other graded assignments.
  • Time limits for quiz/test attempts.
  • Automatic shuffling of questions and shuffling of multiple-choice responses between student quiz/test attempts.
  • Browser security settings prohibiting access to other online sites and/or prohibiting printing during quizzes and tests.
  • Limiting student access to quiz/test grades or to review of graded quizzes/tests until all submissions have been graded.
  • Requirements for specific IP addresses or monitoring and comparing of IP addresses between student attempts of quizzes/tests.
  • Quiz/test item presentation options (one question per page, no returning to previous questions, etc.).
  • Limiting number of attempts per quiz/test.
  • Time delays between subsequent attempts of quizzes or tests that allow multiple attempts.
  • Monitoring of student activity logs which record dates, times, and durations of access to graded assignments