Author(s) ：Ayham Fayyoumi, Anis Zarrad
Nowadays, e-learning systems have become vital components in the education and training domains. Several countries are attempting to overcome the Knowledge Divide. Through education and training, countries are able to develop the skills of their citizens, consequently bridging the Knowledge Divide within the country and with more developed ones. Success in the Knowledge Economy relies heavily on a qualified and skilled population, thus effective education and training systems are required.
Simultaneously, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) continue to grow at a rapid pace and have changed the way people live, work, and learn. The integration of ICT tools in education and training has created new ways of delivering, accessing, and processing useful knowledge, as well as has provided support to knowledge sharing between different actors and to lifelong learning  . In addition, technological development and the growth of the Internet have resulted in the emergence of e-learning as an important learning approach. E-learning provides innovative methods for educating people. Moreover, the e-learning market is expanding because of its many advantages over traditional education. E-learning is also highly flexible, scalable, employs a rapid learning method, less expensive, and proven to be effective compared with traditional education. In particular, the following are the three main drivers for the increasing global importance of e-learning:
• Movement toward a knowledge-based economy;
• Paradigm shift in education delivery;
• Technological developments and Internet growth.
The development of e-learning and online assessment systems is increasing rapidly, both globally and locally, with many universities and corporations investing significant capital in e-learning programs and initiatives. This growth is also reflected in the report by Ambient Insight, which was published in 2010, indicating that the e-learning market has reached US$ 27.1 billion in 2009 and will surpass $49.6 billion by 2014  . The growth of the e-learning industry requires new services to ensure reliability and effectiveness of its systems, especially during the examinations process, by addressing the issue of cheating in online examinations and identity theft.
E-learning is prospering on global and local levels. In Saudi Arabia, the government is focusing to the education sector in general and to e-learning in particular in responding to the increasing number of male and female students enrolled in educational institutions. Many universities in Saudi Arabia have already implemented e-learning systems and are offering distance learning courses and degrees. Thus, ensuring the reliability of e-learning systems, especially during examinations, is highly critical. Online examination cheating and identity theft should be considered, while the privacy of learners’ data and more importantly, their images is guaranteed.
The main objective of this research is to provide a solution for online exam systems by using face recognition to authenticate learners for attending an online exam. More importantly, the system continuously (with short time intervals), checks for learner identity during the whole exam period to ensure that the learner who started the exam is the same one who continued until the end and prevent the possibility of cheating by looking at adjacent PC or reading from an external paper. The system will issue an early warning to the learners if suspicious behavior has been noticed by the system. The proposed system has been presented to eight e-learning instructors and experts in addition to 32 students to gather feedback and to study the impact and the benefit of such system in e-learning environment.
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