From E-Learning Faculty Modules
There has been talk for years that the government will require universities and colleges to authenticate who their online learners are. People use proctoring and other methods to verify learner identities, particularly for high-value examinations.
A recent themed issue of the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (of MERLOT) addressed issues of "Integrity and Identity Authentication in Higher Education." This issue showed uses of both human interactions and technological factors to authenticate learners.
Student Work Consistency
One strategy to authenticate online learners is to create inquiry-based assignments that develop in a step-wise way and are cumulative. This provides the instructor with opportunities to interact with students and for them to develop a sense of consistent student styles and voices in their work. This seems to work very well in writing, and it may apply to other fields as well.