Ensure Students’ Identity and Privacy
All online and hybrid courses offered by TSC are hosted on the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) and accessed through a secure online portal. All students enrolled in TSC are issued a unique user name and a default password that is used to access all information technology platforms, to include TSC Online, the Canvas LMS, and secure email. At initial login, the user is prompted to change the default password to a unique password, conforming to several complexity rules to help prevent any unauthorized access. Thereafter, the system automatically requires students to create a new password every 120 days to mitigate against unauthorized access. Canvas also provides faculty restricted access that will allow them to access only information within the course that they teach, and students are restricted to only faculty-published information in the courses in which they are enrolled. Canvas also provides a secure environment. This allows faculty members to post course materials, assignments, exams, and discussion forums for their courses. Students may also participate in forum discussions, upload assignments, and take quizzes and exams. The privacy of students’ assignments and grades is maintained within the learning management system.
The Information Technology Department has an End User Responsibility document, located on the Help Desk webpage that provides the student with the consequences of not complying with the procedure of passwords, the use of another individual’s password, and proper internet use.
TSC also verifies the student’s identity by incorporating proctored examinations in online courses. Students enrolled in online and hybrid courses may take proctored examinations at the TSC Testing Center or at one of three alternative testing sites within the TSC service area.
If the instructor elects not to have the exam proctored in a face-to-face environment, the students are required to download and utilize Lockdown Browser and Monitor as their assessment tools. Lockdown Monitor requires the use of a webcam and video technology to ensure the student taking the exam is the same who participates in and completes the course or program and receives credit.
The students are also provided with the Privacy/FERPA Statement and Distance Learning Student Privacy in their syllabus:
Distance Learning: Student Privacy
TSC is committed to protecting the privacy of all students’ academic records, regardless of the mode of delivery of instruction. Accordingly, TSC extends the same FERPA protections to students in online classes as it does for students enrolled in traditional face-to-face instructional classrooms. You should be aware that unlike verbal exchanges in a traditional face-to-face classroom, your participation in an online environment is captured electronically, and a record your participation in the class is created. The privacy of these records, and your right to review them, are legally protected under the provisions of FERPA. Information on your privacy rights under FERPA is available in the Student Handbook.
Ensure Information is not Shared by the Student
In an effort to ensure the username and password is not shared by the student when taking an online examination, the exams are either proctored on-online, on campus in a face-to-face environment, or students are able to schedule their test to be proctored at various local, approved testing sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley.
If the instructor chooses not to have the exam proctored in a face-to-face environment, the students are required to download and utilize Lockdown Browser and Monitor as their assessment tools. Lockdown Monitor requires the use of a webcam and video technology to ensure the student taking the exam is the same student enrolled in the program. This prevents the sharing of username and passwords when taking an online examination.
The student is provided with this information in their online course.