Melbourne University to Pilot Blockchain for Student Records in Aussie-First

By Samburaj Das May 1, 2017 4:57 AM EDT

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The University of Melbourne will become the first Australian educational institution to pilot blockchain technology by recording student credentials on a distributed ledger.

The Australian university will pilot the blockchain tech developed by US-based Learning Machine, an industry startup that will enable employers to verify student credentials on a micro-credentials system. Although largely undefined, micro-credentials aim to recognize additional abilities and discrete skills related to the program or certification. Notably, Learning Machine is associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, an initiative notable for its research and endeavor in the bitcoin- and blockchain-space.

Professor Gregor Kennedy, pro-vice chancellor of teaching and learning at the university underlined the need for new innovations in record-keeping as employers seek to recognize new types of skillsets.

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“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,” the professor stated.

He added:

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.

A piece of evidence, like a video or audio of a classroom interaction with the student, relating to their learning or skill set will be required to earn a micro-credential.

The University of Melbourne will be the first in Australia to pilot blockchain technology.

The platform will enable blockchain users to download an app which they can then use to invite educational institutions to lodge their credentials on the incorruptible ledger. Using the app, users can also choose other organizations to share

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