Facial Recognition: Maintaining the Integrity of Online Education

Biometrics are no longer limited to attendance or smartphone screen locks. Various sectors are implementing biometrics as a means of authentication. According to the chief executive of Biometric Institute, Isabelle Moeller:

Facial Recognition

“Sectors including mobile, banking, and education are showing a real desire for the use of biometric authentication.”

While biometric fingerprint authentication is being used for long to identify and authenticate a person, a new form of Biometric Identification, facial recognition is gaining a lot of attention nowadays.

With Apple launching FaceID, an authentication feature based on face detection, experts believe that this robust technology has more potential. Some examples of large scale adoption of facial recognition online are in the news. For instance, airports around the world are using online facial recognition to identify passengers.

Considering a fast development in face detection technology. The question of its use in the education sector arises. Especially when online education is becoming a popular source of education.

Before diving deep into its impact, let us look at how facial recognition technology works. A facial recognition system uses facial features from a photo or a video. It matches the information from a known database of faces and verifies the identity. There is a new addition to this feature, which is liveness detection. It helps to verify if the user is present at the time of authentication by recognizing the liveness.    

So, what possibilities does this technology brings to online education? If compared with other biometric authentication, online facial recognition brings more than identity management.

Starting with identity authentication, online facial recognition can personalize the experience for individual users. Moreover, it will help in securing the content, and identifying and decreasing the chances of cheating. Concerning future possibilities, facial emotion detection can increase student engagement. Learners’ emotions can be detected and analyzed to know whether a learner is showing attention towards the course or not. 

Face as Biometric Identity

Like any other method, facial authentication serves as a biometric authentication tool. But the difference is that it is more reliable and efficient. Every smartphone has a digital camera, which makes the face detection as easy as the blink of an eye. Unlike a fingerprint, it serves more purposes than just identification.

Paid e-libraries can ensure the security of their content and avoid copyright infringements. Usually protected by simple password authentication, e-libraries has a high risk of identity fraud. Fraudsters can access the credentials of any customer and use the content for malicious purposes. Facial recognition eliminates the chances of fraud.

Biometrics as ID for Assessment and personalization

Facial recognition can assist in assessment and content personalization for learners.

Online education faces a lot of criticism due to the high occurrence of cheating cases. A learner could ask anyone to take a test on their behalf and get a good score. Would not that be unjustified for the students who work hard to gain marks? Facial recognition has the potential to make online assessments viable.

Another use case of facial verification is to enable serving personalized content to learners. With online facial recognition technology, capturing usage data for analytics and using it to make content more personalized becomes easier.

Learner Engagement using Facial Emotions

Although not currently in use emotion recognition can help to increase learner engagement in online education. Amazon has launched ‘Rekognition’, an AI that will detect the emotions of customers and analyze what should be done to make customers more satisfied. However, it is still in the testing phase. 

 In a physical classroom, teachers make sure that students are showing interest in learning. How do they make sure? They predict by emotional expressions of students. Facial emotional recognition could take perform this job for online learning. By using AI, the facial emotions of a learner could be used to analyze their engagement during learning.

The integrity of online education is questioned a lot. Especially, with raised issues of cheating and plagiarism. In online learning, no suitable checks are there to detect whether the person who enrolls in the course takes exams or not. This maligns the integrity of the education sector. Moreover, online education is on the verge to reach out to more people. Biometric online facial recognition can further the cause. It can assist to restore the integrity of online education.