Page 21 - Campus Technology, May/June 2019
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Anatomy of a blockhain
detailed academic records.”
College and university CIOs also hope that
blockchain technology can help to streamline other administrative functions. For instance, the ability to transfer credits between institu- tions could be simplified, according to Arthur.
The current process at ECPI University involves a digital credentialing service called Parchment that helps to match courses com- pleted at one institution with ones offered at a corresponding institution. However, a faculty member is still needed to view the transcript and manually enter the information for each course completed.
Arthur’s goal is to eventually give students the capability to upload their transcripts onto an ECPI University portal and get an immediate degree audit against everything that the school has to offer. The audit would provide students with information on degree requirements and how long it would take to complete a degree at ECPI University.
“If we get to this point, it would change the whole dynamic of how students are able to explore all of their best transfer options and it would lower the cost for students to under- stand what is the fastest path to earning a degree at certain institutions,” said Arthur. “Right now, it could take a month or two to get the document where you need it to go and
then complete the evaluation process, because someone needs to read the transcript.”
The next big leap for blockchain in the higher education space is likely to be the ability to put badges and certificates for technical skills on the chain. At CNM, the college has been working on an effort to create a micro-credentialing solution with IBM, the University of New Mexico and Presbyterian Hospital Services.
“While we are talking with IBM to build this solution, we have decided to build a consortium for the blockchain educational platform because the toolkits that we are using could easily be used by other educational institutions,” said CNM CIO Feng Hou. “We would like to offer the toolkits to other educational institutions so they don’t have to build from scratch.”
Micro-credentialing would allow CNM to give students badges for completing a semester-long course that teaches a specific skill. CNM is part of a consortium created by the Education Design Lab to determine the content and for- mat for the open badge standard, and IBM is working on the infrastructure for the platform where students, faculty and employers will be able to view the data.
Once the platform goes live, Hou said he wants to drill down further into the weeds to allow 21

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