Guide to the Student Identity Verification Policy
The United States Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires colleges and universities to have processes in place to ensure that the student registered for a credit-bearing course(s) is the student participating in the course(s), completing the course(s), and receiving academic credit for the course(s). To ensure compliance with the HEOA, RIT has adopted the following Student Identity Verification in Distance Learning policy.

Cultivating Integrity in Online Learning

There is little doubt that online learning has provided greater access within Higher Education. Learners who may have otherwise had barriers related to their location, schedule or career are able to pursue the same academic goals as those who are studying on-campus. They are able to connect remotely and receive an engaging educational experience that is unique to RIT. With recent steps to secure access at RIT, the Student Identity Verification Policy has been updated to help ensure integrity within RIT's online classes. 

The Updated Policy

Beginning Fall 2018, all online classes at RIT will follow the newly adopted Administrative Policy for Student Identity Verification in Distance Learning policy. As stated in this policy, faculty will be required upon posting final grades that they have verified each student's identity. Faculty will attest to this by either:

  1. The student completion of the Student Identity Verification Checklist or
  2. Verifying each student's identity through means outlined in the policy or
  3. Making a reasonable attempt to verify each student's identity according to the policy

About the Student Identity Verification Checklist

The Student Identity Verification Checklist (SIVC) goes above the minimum standard of a secure RIT log-in and asks a student to affirm who they say they are. The student will affirm four straight forward statements which will confirm their identity, they have read and understand the Computer Conduct Policy, the Academic Integrity Policy, and the course syllabus. As the instructor, this will provide you with the student's confirmation if an issue comes up in class. The SIVC will be a non-graded quiz to be completed during the first week of class.  

Embedding the SIVC

To embed the SIVC within Week 1, please follow the instructions below: 

  1. Download the SIVC and follow these instructions.
  2. Place an announcement within your Week 1 instructions or email for students to complete the SIVC.
  3. If a student did not complete the SIVC during Week 1, we would advise sending an encouraging email reminding students to complete this requirement. 
  4. If you have difficulty with embedding the SIVC, please contact the Academic Technology Support Desk at

If you are concerned with students completing the SIVC, options for increasing completion rates include:

  • You may set up individual content modules, dropbox assignments, or quizzes to be locked to students until they complete the SIVC quiz. This is known as conditional release. We recommend setting up a conditional release on the first week of content or the first week’s assignment or quiz.
  • You may choose to assign a point value to SIVC completion (if you choose this option, it should be reflected in the syllabus)

For assistance with either of these two options, you can contact the Academic Technology Support Desk.

Connecting with Your Students

You may find that not every student may complete the SIVC or you may be looking for other opportunities to provide an engaging online learning environment. The following methods have been outlined within the update policy to verify identity, but are also great ways to provide a greater personal connection within the online classroom:  

  • Web conferencing sessions
  • Proctoring Services
  • New or other technologies and practices (Consult with an Instructional Designer from TLS –

Teaching and Learning Services is available to discuss what method may work best within your online classroom. 

Need Support?

If you have technical questions or would like to explore possible options for addressing student identification verification in your online class, please contact TLS.

If you need alternative types of support or have general questions about online programs and courses at RIT, please contact RIT Online.