What is Single Sign-On?

With cellular networks covering a larger area of the globe, and wi-fi freely available in more restaurants, stores, and even public transit, people have grown accustomed to surfing the web anywhere at anytime. A thriving tablet and smartphone market means that people are accessing the Internet from a number of devices and are constantly changing between them throughout their daily lives. To address the user experience of switching between mobile devices, companies are implementing single sign-on, or the use of one authentication process to access multiple websites, in order to make the user experience seamless. It's now possible, for instance, to register with website that has never been visited before simply by signing-in with one's Facebook or Google credentials. With less effort put toward recalling and re-entering passwords for multiple websites, users can navigate the web with greater ease and accessibility.

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1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • With the growing amount of platforms we use in teaching/learning single logon is more than needed. It gives os the opportunity to switch seamlessly between applications and creates an impression of coherence. Much needed. - ole ole Oct 9, 2014 - helga helga Oct 24, 2014 Jefrina- jefrina.jamaluddin jefrina.jamaluddin Oct 27, 2014
  • While I agree that single sign-on is imperative, I've been a critic of the idea that "enterprise" technology is the only solution for students. This article explains in greater detail why: "Student success is arguably the most important issue facing today's higher education institutions. The implementation of programmatic and technological interventions outside a cohesive digital engagement strategy leads to fragmentation and merely continues the technology system–centered approach to data. In fact, a study at one institution found that this ad hoc approach added levels of complexity that made new initiatives unmanageable. Changing to a student-centered approach that sees data in the context of improving student outcomes requires a paradigm shift." http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/digital-engagement-driving-student-success - Mark.fink Mark.fink Oct 15, 2014
  • To me, single-sign-on suggest the use of LTI to integrate third party tools into an LMS (am I alone here?). While I don't think the LMS is the best way to facilitate online learning, we must recognize that the LMS is mainstream and if using third party tools requires faculty to ask/require students to create external accounts, the adoption rates will remain low. Single Sign On will lower the barrier for experimentation with new tools. Also, many faculty today are paying for cloud based tools out of their own pocket. LTI integration will provide a stepping stone for site licenses to cloud based tools, relieving faculty of the burden of paying for them. - mpacansky-brock mpacansky-brock Oct 27, 2014

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • When I think of single-sign-on I think of LTI integration, as opposed to using one's Facebook or Google account to log into an application. - mpacansky-brock mpacansky-brock Oct 27, 2014
  • add your response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

  • This is a question of "federation." There are several federation schemes that allow one identity provider to assert an identity to a new system. As these systems develop trust relationships, users will move between systems without having to log in again and again. This is how you can use Facebook to log into some new game platform,Pandora and the like. It makes life easy, fluid and secure. As higher ed participates in this ecology, the idea that you will be a university ID will be replaced by the idea that you will need a trusted ID. That provider might be Facebook or Google or whatever. Not only will this make life easier for students as they move between the academic and non-academic online spaces, it will help the university too. Schools will be able to keep a consolidated record of your interaction with them--from the first time you sign up for a university newsletter or attend a seminar through your degree, and beyond. This will allow higher ed to enrich the relationships it has with with constituents. No longer will you be a community member, student, faculty, alumni, grad student, donor, etc. You always be you when interacting with the university and the institution can determine what role you are currently playing without seperating you from all other contexts you maintain! - david.thomas david.thomas Oct 21, 2014- helga helga Oct 24, 2014
  • Improve adoption rates of collaborative, social technologies in teaching and learning. - mpacansky-brock mpacansky-brock Oct 27, 2014

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • CSU Channel Islands is using the LTI plug in for VoiceThread (also integrated with our student system), which creates a single-sign on experience for our students and faculty. VoiceThreads can be set up from within the LMS as an activity and an auto link to the gradebook is created. - mpacansky-brock mpacansky-brock Oct 27, 2014

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