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Groningen Declaration 2017

April 27, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm


Innovation and Standardization in Digital Credentials

Exchange of Comprehensive Student Records and the Blockchain

The form and function of academic credentials are in a period of accelerating innovation across national contexts. As the function of credentials evolves to act as global currency for human capital, the form of credentials is similarly changing, both in response and as a further catalyst. Credentials are moving from paper to digital, from text to visual, from narrowly-defined records to personalized representations of a more comprehensive set of learner qualifications, and from institutionally directed to learner directed.

As innovation in digital credentials accelerates, however, the need for shared and open standards becomes increasingly apparent. In this presentation, academics and education entrepreneurs Drs. Matthew Pittinsky (Parchment and Arizona State University) and Natalie Smolenski (Learning Machine Research) will describe three country-specific efforts to innovate academic records to include more comprehensive information, and three major digital credential standardization initiatives: IMS’s Extended Transcript (eT), PESC’s EdExchange, and Blockcerts.

Dr. Pittinsky will begin by outlining broad trends driving credential innovation in three different national contexts: the Lumina Foundation Comprehensive Student Record (USA), the Higher Education Achievement Report (UK), and the Australian Higher Education Graduate Statement (Australia).

Next, Dr. Smolenski will draw on her work for Learning Machine Research to describe the “Tower of Babel” problem in the area of educational credentials, which calls for three different forms of standardization: standards of content, standards of exchange value, and standards of technological infrastructure.

In the final part of the presentation, Drs. Pittinsky and Smolenski will address technology standardization, describing how eT, EdExchange and Blockcerts are setting an agenda for global interoperability, exchange, and portability of digital credentials, with particular reference to learner employment outcomes.


April 27, 2017
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm


Groningen Declaration Network


University of Melbourne

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