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An Overview And Analysis Of Online Academy Security And Construction

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.208.1 - 11.208.14



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Paper Authors

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Theodor Richardson University of South Carolina

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Dayle Lytle Richland County School District One

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Jed Lyons University of South Carolina

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Mitch Wyatt Richland County School District One

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An Overview and Analysis of Online Academy Security and Construction Paper 2006-1267


With the increasing ability for students to enrich educational experiences with online content and the move toward virtual schools, Richland County School District One has taken the initiative to develop a complete online academy. The goal of the Richland One Virtual Education Resources (Rover) Academy is to allow students in face-to-face classrooms to have access to courses not offered in their home schools as well as allow homebound students to continue to receive an accredited education. This has and continues to involve an extensive look at the best practices for the construction of such a virtual facility in terms of software engineering, hardware solutions, ease of use, and educational experience. Through the course of this paper, we present the findings of this best practices study as well as recommended steps and implementations to develop similar online academies in other school districts. Specific emphasis is placed on system security, course development, lesson conferencing, learning management systems, and logistical management culminating in a reusable evaluation for the effectiveness of the entire system that can be used to improve extant systems and guide the construction of new online academies.

1. Introduction

Since the inception of online technology, the use of the Internet as a source of knowledge has steadily increased. This increase leads to the inevitable question of its suitability as a learning tool and, subsequently, it’s utility as a learning environment. Under the correct circumstances, the Internet can be a valuable enhancement to a face-to-face classroom environment or even a substitute for face-to-face meeting. Online academies, or virtual academies as they are sometimes denoted, have gained in popularity in recent years1,2; the increasing speed and bandwidth of home internet connections have enabled the growth of online usage and opened the possibility of using the Internet as a substitute for the traditional face-to-face classroom experience. With a significantly fast connection, video and audio streaming can bring an equivalent classroom experience to a student working from home; this is the basis of the distance learning APOGEE courses used at the University of South Carolina3. However, these courses still require in-person exams and an additional means of facilitating the delivery of assignments. Popular online academies such as Apex2 and the Florida Virtual School1 incorporate similar ideas for students who mainly attend classes by proxy from home or at facilitated computer labs.

The complete elimination of in-person attendance requirements is the source of contention for many people who see exploitations of Internet technology as far too feasible for it to be trusted as an academic environment4. This contention centers on the concern of accountability and integrity, terms commonly seen in information security applications. It is therefore natural to treat the design and use of an online academy as a study in information security. That is the approach that will be taken in this paper. The areas of concern will be detailed in the course of a walkthrough of the use of an online academy as either a standalone academic environment or as a supplement to face-to-face classrooms. Along with an analysis of the online academy under

Richardson, T., & Lytle, D., & Lyons, J., & Wyatt, M. (2006, June), An Overview And Analysis Of Online Academy Security And Construction Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--740

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