The Feds are taking the issue of financial aid fraud and student authentication up again and there is a really important post at WCET this morning about it. (see below)
I think that the California Community College OEI program at Foothill and Butte Colleges, will, in their state wide efforts have to address this in the application and common assessment processes, but we need to be vigilant in our classes and our own processes in the meantime.
So, as I see it there are three levels of defense that will have to be addressed:
1. State-wide technology agencies will have to administer integrity checks at application;
2. Individual colleges will have to put in place any technology safeguards possible (the least of which is password refresh process for your CMS, if you don't have one.) and possibly, hire a service like Proctor-U.
3. DE Teachers will have to use multiple measures of assessment (not high stakes tests), proctoring where ever possible (can be done remotely-put a process in place), talk to their students about what cheating, plagiarism, and financial fraud are (they get emails asking them "please don't drop me, I'll loose my financial aid!" all the time), and watch for patterns of disengagement.
This is going to be a huge issue and all of the colleges offering DE programs will need to stay on top of it.
The link to the information is at: http://wcetblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/financial-aid-fraud/