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How to ensure the person named on the certificate actually took the course?

Explorer ,
Mar 20, 2019

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Hi Gang,

Apparently there is a trend for people who have to take eLearning courses (but can't be bothered) to palm the task off to someone else, so they can show their completion certificate, get 'HR' off their back but not have to put in any personal effort.

A client has asked if there is any way to stop this, and ensure the actual user shown on the certificate was the one taking the course.

I must admit, I can't think of a way to ensure this, but I wonder if that's just because I'm a luddite and there are plenty of new fangled ways to make sure, hence the question.

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How to ensure the person named on the certificate actually took the course?

Explorer ,
Mar 20, 2019

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Hi Gang,

Apparently there is a trend for people who have to take eLearning courses (but can't be bothered) to palm the task off to someone else, so they can show their completion certificate, get 'HR' off their back but not have to put in any personal effort.

A client has asked if there is any way to stop this, and ensure the actual user shown on the certificate was the one taking the course.

I must admit, I can't think of a way to ensure this, but I wonder if that's just because I'm a luddite and there are plenty of new fangled ways to make sure, hence the question.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 20, 2019

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I really don' think that is possible. Pesronally I never trust a certificate....

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Engaged ,
Mar 20, 2019

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If someone wants to give someone else a password or other access to the course, there's no way for you to know.

As immortalized years ago:

Image result for on the internet nobody knows you're a dog

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 20, 2019

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I'm waiting for:

  • retina eye scan on the monitor
  • finger print recognition on key board keys
  • dna collection from handling the mouse

That should do it for a while, but of course someone will find a way around it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 21, 2019

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I developed a solution for a client, where when the course is started for the first time, ten security questions are presented to the user.

The answers are stored and then at specific intervals during the course, a random question pops up and they get 30 seconds to answer the question. If they do not the course closes and a failure variable is set which does not allow then to access the course. The admin is sent an email and they are the only person who can give them access again.

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Engaged ,
Mar 21, 2019

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Tricky! But wouldn't work if the ghost course taker is the one who answers the security questions. If security questions could be imported from a place where only the true learner had access long before starting the course, this could be very valuable. People will always try to find ways to cheat or get out of things they don't want to do....  I imagine a security question database could be set up and the contents downloaded to the course on the fly via JS and GIFT, but that's beyond where I want to look at the moment.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 21, 2019

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That really is a creative solution, similar to what banks do for account unlocking but you also might want to pull the questions from an external source somehow. (Understand my comments were slightly tongue in cheek - but maybe reality some day.   )

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Explorer ,
Mar 21, 2019

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That's an interesting concept TLC, and has made me ponder that there may be a solution that could work, or at least go some way to working.

The issue at the moment is that people currently take this particular subject in a classroom environment. They have to turn up with their driving licence and after finishing the course, this is checked and they get their certificate. Clearly the driving licence is the key to verification here.

These people aren't hackers, so it doesn't need to be very sophisticated in it's security, and also therefore can't be too complicated and get in the way of the simplicity of taking an online course.

Unless there is a solution, it will be difficult to sell eLearning courses instead of Classroom based courses in this particular instance...

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