Troy University Hosts Online Learning Colloquium in Dothan

Posted: Wednesday, 16 April 2008

DOTHAN – More than 200 Troy University faculty and staff members from the University’s eCampus division met in Dothan recently to discuss the latest in distance learning technology and best practices in online learning. During the four-day conference, faculty members also trained on the Secureexam Remote Proctor System, which TROY developed with Software Secure, Inc.

The remote proctor, which is the first of its kind, electronically verifies the identity of online test takers by recording student fingerprints and photographs, according to Dr. Deb Gearhart, director of eCampus. In addition, it electronically monitors students as they take exams.

“Troy University really is on the cutting edge,” Dr. Gearhart said. “Universities that offer distance learning must find ways to verify that students are the ones who are doing the work.”

Legislation on student authentication is currently making its way through both houses of Congress; and Dr. Gearhart said other Universities are showing interest in the technology that TROY has helped to develop.

The remote proctor is already in use in several of TROY’s online MBA classes. The University is working to incorporate the system in other online graduate programs this fall.

The colloquium also provided eCampus faculty and staff, who normally communicate by computer or phone, the opportunity to meet face-to-face to discuss plans for new programs. Currently eCampus serves more than 10,000 students each year and offers 17 complete online degrees. In August, the University anticipates bringing the Deaf Interpreter Program online.

“TROY offers more online degree programs than most other universities,” Dr. Gearhart said. “TROY does a tremendous job of reaching students who might otherwise not have an opportunity to earn an education.”

For more information about eCampus, contact Dr. Gearhart at dgearhart@troy.edu.