The higher-education law signed by President Bush last month (See "Congress: Schools must clamp down on file sharing") demands that colleges authenticate test takers in online courses through the use of sophisticated identification technology or with exam proctors. While some high-ed officials believe the law will help lend greater credibility to online learning, others say the new mandate is largely unnecessary.

The legislation promotes use of the latest monitoring methods, such as web cameras and keystroke recording, to ensure that test takers are, indeed, the students enrolled in an online course. Some campus officials and experts in online learning say


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