Hey, who'd you pay to take that test Bubba?
April 11, 2007 10:01 AM   Subscribe

For a friend: I need some ideas about web cam server solutions.

From his e-mail:

"What I am attempting to do is provide a college professor a means to verify the identity of a student taking an online exam.

I want to be able to have a student log onto a site where their web cam uploads the video. A professor then logs in and can see all of the students online - when compared to a static picture (that is previously uploaded), reasonable verification can occur."


Anyone know of any commercial software solutions that might address this need? Or existing website? This is basically asking for a webcam server with an authentication system that students can log into and broadcast their stream to. Maybe a CMS with a webcam plugin of some kind? Help me out mefi! I know such things exist, but my google-fu is failing me today (unfortunately searches are only coming up with porn cam portals, and these aren't forthcoming with software suggestions).
posted by empyrean to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Flash can connect to local webcams and send video captures back to a server (with user permission), e.g..

But I'd question the statement that "reasonable verification can occur." This sounds like a hassle (must own a working webcam to take class) for the students who aren't cheating, and easily circumvented (e.g. pass questions and answers over IM, remote control the machine to take the exam, etc.) by the students who care to cheat.
posted by scottreynen at 10:14 AM on April 11, 2007

All the web cam would prove is the person that was supposed to be taking the test is in the same room as the computer that is being used to take the test (although even that is debatable).

It wouldn't stop a person from having someone else in the room to take the test.
posted by mmascolino at 10:58 AM on April 11, 2007

Response by poster: I think it's pretty clear that I'm not asking for your opinion on the idea's viability.
posted by empyrean at 11:15 AM on April 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

A lot of students already use software like MSN Messenger. So if the professor were to install all the popular clients like MSN, Yahoo, AIM - then he would simply need to have the students initiate a video conference with him through their respective client.
posted by Sonic_Molson at 12:57 PM on April 11, 2007

posted by aberrant at 1:28 PM on April 11, 2007

Yes, this exists: www.softwaresecure.com

I cannot vouch for them at all, but I do know they use this at Troy State University.
posted by frecklefaerie at 2:04 PM on April 11, 2007

If software secure doesn't meet his needs, there are a variety of web meeting programs out there that will provide a live feed. He can probably then just match each student to a file of images he already has (school id files?).
posted by necessitas at 3:03 PM on April 11, 2007

I think it's pretty clear that I'm not asking for your opinion on the idea's viability.

wow. Cause pointing out potential problems to both you and the people answering, so they can integrate that and come up with a better answer for you is... bad... somehow?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:59 AM on April 12, 2007

Response by poster: Marked scottreynen for suggesting Flash. That's the most likely solution, to build it from scratch.
posted by empyrean at 9:56 AM on April 12, 2007

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