Blockchain Paltform For Academic Credentials Planned By Arizona State University

Blockchain, Education, News | July 10, 2019 By:

Arizona State University is developing a blockchain platform to share academic credentials between community colleges and universities.

University news site Inside Higher Ed reported that Arizona State’s central enterprise unit EdPlus is working with cloud software firm Salesforce to create a blockchain-based student data network that will enable participating institutions to share and verify students’ academic records.

“While many will successfully graduate from Arizona State with a bachelor’s degree, the remainder risk joining the 37 million Americans with some college credit but no degree,” the report said. “To counter this, Arizona State is working with local community colleges to share transfer students’ academic records, enabling colleges to monitor when their former students have earned enough credits to be awarded an associate’s degree — a process known as reverse transfer.

The blockchain initiative’s key focus is to make student information “bi-directional” so that once students transfer to Arizona State, community colleges can continue to be updated on their former students’ progress.

“We want to optimize those pathways back and forth between us and facilitate conversations with faculty on both sides so that we can support students who are creating their own path towards a degree,” said EdPlus CTO Donna Kidwell. “It’s possible that greater insight into these “DIY” student journeys might also help the university understand where there are new program opportunities.”

Kidwell further said that data transfer is just one small part of what this initiative can do, adding that the technology could also be used to help global institutions and employers verify the academic qualifications of refugees.

“We would like to do work in that space, but it’s a really hard issue to solve,” she said. “We have quite a lot of sophistication in our transfer credit system already — we know what it takes to map the learning experience of one institution to another. So we’re not starting from scratch. We already have processes in place.”