F.D. Guillén-Gámez, I. García-Magariño

Universidad a Distancia de Madrid (UDIMA) (SPAIN)
Face-based authentication technology has become one of the most influential techniques in the science of biometrics in recent years, especially in the field of education. Due to the high demand in the field of e-learning, it encounters new aspects that should be determined to be as acceptable and recognized as face-to-face learning. One of the critical aspects to keep in mind is the possibility of taking exams or tests at home preventing identity substitution. For now, the students’ way of working is not usually controlled in e-learning, considering that usually there is not any procedure to monitor in which situation they develop their activity. Some frauds can by stopped in e-learning with facial authentication technology by automatically verifying the identities of students while doing their activities in the Learning Management Systems (LMSs). Nonetheless, the main drawback of including this technology in a given university at once is that students will probably feel over-controlled and they may be discouraged from learning and continuing studying in the same university.

The goal of this research is to develop a guideline for e-learning lecturers from different universities, on how to introduce facial authentication reducing as much as possible the rejection from the students. This work is aimed at identifying which types of activities have more acquiescence from the students and establishing an order of kinds of activities recommended for the progressive incorporation of facial authentication in the different academic years; as well as analyzing the impact of facial authentication in e-learning within the Moodle LMS.

This work presents the experimentation of including a face-based biometrical authentication technology in a Moodle virtual room of the Master Degree in Education and New Technologies of the Madrid Open University. The students were surveyed about the suitability of this technology for the different kinds of activities. In particular, they were asked about the different kinds of activities offered by Moodle and its plugins activated in this university. These kinds of activities are tests, glossaries, lessons, task mailboxes, Wikis, Blackboard Collaborate sessions (originally named Elluminate sessions), and forums. In addition, the different sub-kinds of task mailboxes were separately analyzed. The surveys were replied with a seven-point Likert scale.

The surveys were replied by 28 students. This paper analyzes the responses, and the corresponding averages are presented. Concretely, these averages show that students find the face-based authentication technology suitable for the different kinds of activities in the following order from more suitable to less:
(1) tests,
(2) glossaries,
(3) lessons,
(4) task mailboxes and Wikis,
(5) Blackboard Collaborate sessions, and
(6) Forums.

The current paper also presents a guideline for allowing lectures of different universities to gradually introduce face-based authentication technology in their Moodle virtual rooms. This guideline is based on the students’ preferences showed in the experimental results. The guideline recommends firstly introduce this technology in the kinds of activities wider accepted by students, and afterwards, when the students are used to it, include this technology in the other kinds of activities. In fact, the same aforementioned order of suitable kinds of activities is recommended for gradually introducing this technology.