Measuring learning progress

One of the ways to measure learning progress is through competences. Using specific digital tools which can be integrated in the learning management system (LMS) it is possible to depict competencies for learner in real-time. One of the powerful tools is Moodle LMS. From Moodle v.3.1 (2016) there is the possibility to provide a list of competencies in courses and associate them with activities. Using the Moodle competence tool the learner can monitor his/her success of competence acquisition. In the frame of a course completion, it can be measured using conditions for activities, enrolment duration, total course grade, etc. The learner can check which activities are already completed or the system can do it automatically after the set conditions are met. The learner has special information just about his/her progress in the course. Progress visualization is possible using additional extension of the Moodle LMS (for example: Completion Progress bar).

Searching for learner identity solutions to facilitate recognition of learning achievements

Taking a course on an open online learning platform has different requirements than auditorium lectures. One of the main requirements and challenges is learner identity verification. In open online learning, all teaching and learning happens online and, usually, the teacher doesn’t meet learners face to face. All institutions providing online learning courses should consider this issue and think of possible solutions for learner identification taking into account the pre-conditions established in their country. E-Citizenship program e-Government and other national solutions for digital identification of a person can be immediately applied to identify and authenticate users using mobile signature, bank account, and other tools. There are solutions for user authentication, the most common ones use biometric parameters, such as fingerprint, face, voice recognition (Rabuzin et al., 2006). However all these solutions require special devices to be used to verify user identity.

Solutions have concerns about data security and privacy issues, as such data are very sensitive. Furthermore, this solution is valid only for the initial login process. For open online learning this solution would be too complex to achieve. Another solution for learner identity would be continuous authentication. This solution could be used during exams or other assignments performed by the learner. Apampa et al. (2010) mentions video monitoring/recording solution via webcam. However, such solutions also require special software to make video recordings of physical work or sophisticated software that would analyse recorded video and alert the teacher if that was not the actual learner who attempted to perform the exam. Also, the learner would have to have a webcam – but recently most devices already have webcams. A more advanced solution for learner identification is proctoring, such as remote proctoring ( which proctors the user while she is taking an exam. Such solutions are usually third-party and are commercial, meaning that the institution has to pay a sum annually or for every exam taken. In remote proctoring the learner should download a special software to be installed on his computer. The software tests the microphone, camera and computer (also, what other software is currently running), the learner must take a picture of his/her personal/student ID and should make a selfie. Then the system verifies the learner identity. Before taking an exam, the learner should move the camera around the environment in which he is performing the exam to show that there is no reading or other materials which could be used while taking exam. All exam process is being recorded and stored. The software continuously records the desktop, the additional software running and learner itself. Freely available international solutions (open source software, etc.) are not established yet for unanimous use. Therefore, there is no single solution for each and every European country.

Some learner identity methods which work in one country might not work in another. As analysis of different methods is currently in progress we have highlight the most effective methods that might be used so far: Social networks authentication: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn are among the most popular social networks. Most people have at least one account in these networks. According to the rules of social networks, users should use their real names and photos. Using social networks for user authentication could be a solution to user authentication on open online learning platforms in case we all are meeting social network regulations continuously.

But what if we do not? Using social network authentication might work with video conferencing solutions. If the user logs in with his Facebook or other social network account the profile picture is passed on to the learning management system (LMS). If the exam is performed in the agreed specific time via a video conferencing tool, the teacher could compare the user profile photo with the actual learner in the video conference to make sure that it is the same person.


  • Apampa, K., M., Wills, G., Argles, D. (2010).
  • User Security Issues in Summative E-assessment Security. International Journal of Digital Society (IJDS), Volume 1, Issue 2, June 2010.
  • Moodle 3.1 (2016, May 23). Retrieved from
  • Rabuzin, K., Baca, M., Sajko, M. (2006).
  • E-learning: biometrics as security factor. In Computing in the Global Information Technology, 2006. ICCGI ’06.  

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