The University of Melbourne is to become the first Australian educational institution to pilot blockchain technology by recording student credentials
The University of Melbourne is to become the first Australian educational institution to pilot blockchain technology by recording student credentials on it.
The Melbourne University is said to trial the blockchain tech developed by US-based Learning Machine, a start-up that tries to enable employers to verify students` credentials on a micro-credentials system. These micro-credentials remain undefined, but in general they aim to recognize additional abilities and skills related to the program or certification. The Learning Machine has been associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, a project known for its research into the blockchain space.
“In a future where career ‘chum’ and constant technical and organizational innovation are the norm, employers are looking for ways to verify the know-how and skills of employees at a very granular level.”, said Professor Gregor Kennedy, pro-vice chancellor of teaching and learning at the university.
“Similarly, students are increasingly interested in showing the specific skills and abilities they have acquired and developed. Micro-credentials, verified through secure, distributed platforms like Learning Machine’s are a means to address this.”, he noted.
A micro-credential can be earned by uploading a piece of evidence like a video or audio of a classroom interaction with the student.
Blockchain users would be able to download an app and use it to invite educational institutions to lodge their credentials on the ledger. Users may also share their credentials with other organizations, as Learning Machine’s head of business development and cultural anthropologist Natalie Smolenski commented.
“Anyone who needs to verify official records, such as employers, can quickly check the validity and authenticity of each certificate. Any attempt to change, embellish, or otherwise misrepresent a micro-credential represented by a certificate will cause the verification to fail.”
The University of Melbourne will trial the blockchain system this July at the university as part of a select group of universities from all over the world.