The Office of Distance Education and eLearning announced on Friday that starting Oct. 11, students will be required to complete the BuckeyePass authentication process to access Carmen after submitting their login information.
Carmen will be the most recent site to require Duo Two-Factor Authentication, which was first introduced to the university in April 2016, said Helen Patton, chief information security officer for ODEE. Duo requires students to receive either a push notification, text message of cell phone to log into university systems like Buckeye Link after using their username and password to log in.
Patton said the main purpose of adding an extra layer of security to Carmen is to protect personal information stored online and prevent others from logging onto a student’s account to commit fraud or academic misconduct.
Liv Gjestvang, associate vice president of learning technology for ODEE, said the office wanted to wait until fall break to introduce Duo for Carmen so that it can make sure the community is prepared for it.
“We wanted to provide a little bit of time and not have this launch right at the start of the term,” Gjestvang said.
ODEE worked in collaboration with university leaders and the Committee on Academic Misconduct to implement this transition to increased protection across many aspects of the university, Gjestvang said.
“This is sort of a natural progression. More and more organizations are realizing that this multifactor authentication is necessary to protect their systems,” said Travis Ritter, director of learning systems and infrastructure for ODEE. “Carmen is just the latest system to take advantage of this.”
Kathleen Jajko, a second-year in arts management, said it took her awhile to get used to working with BuckeyePass. But now that she’s used to it, Jajko said she doesn’t expect it to be a problem when it makes the transition over to Carmen.
“I don’t think it’s that inconvenient,” Jajko said. “You always have your phone on you anyway and it’s just pulling up the app.”
However, not everyone is as optimistic about the change.
Sarah Schulz, a third-year in mechanical engineering, expressed concern that this would limit students’ access to Carmen if they experience issues with other devices.
“I’ve had moments where my phone has died [during the day],” Schulz said. “So now you have to worry about going home and charging it or bringing chargers with you.”
In cases such as these, Patton suggested taking advantage of alternate means of logging in.
Ritter suggested that students register multiple devices to be able to receive calls or push notifications through the Duo Mobile app.
If students do not have a secondary device, Patton said, they can also print off and keep with them a list of backup codes that they would type in instead.
This addition to Carmen is the result of suggestions gathered by the ODEE to improve its systems. According to Gjestvang, other improvements to the site include a new gradebook for instructors, the online proctoring service Proctorio, a software that allows students to record the pronunciation of their names, and an option to include preferred gender pronouns.