The education market is changing rapidly, and in major ways. Just ten
years ago, there was just one way to get a degree, and that was to show
up at campus each day throughout the year and work away class after
class. Today, you've got a variety of options, and the amount of
alternatives are growing by the day. There are online courses and video
conference classes for starters, but one thing that has continued to
plague distance learners is exams. In a lot of scenarios, students have
still been forced to show back up on campus to take vital exams, often
because they simply "need" to be supervised.
An American company is hoping to lend a hand. U.S. firm Software
has engineered a software program that is "designed to make sure
students stay honest while taking the exam by
keeping them under surveillance and cutting off any access to cribbing
material." Basically, this software allows students to take even vital
exams at their leisure, which is a luxury that a vast amount of students
have never had. Some argue that it's unfair to give future students
this kind of luxury; the relaxing feel of taking an exam whenever and
wherever could make it easier to pass, but we doubt any new students
The software does a couple of things: it locks down the use of all files
and the Internet aside from those specifically needed for the exam, and
then it asks for a fingerprint scan to confirm the student's identity.
The software is already being implemented in some universities domestic
and abroad, but we suspect it will be awhile before such a "wild" new
idea is accepted across the board.
The real kicker here is what this means for software and location in
general. If we can successfully allow students to take critical exams on
their own from any location, what else is now possible from remote
places? Voting? Working? With a broadband Internet connection and this
type of software, the sky is certainly the limit.