Blockchain-based careers platform APPII, is working with the Open University to build out a platform that can register and verify student academic records.
APPII’s system is inspired by Ethereum smart contracts and aims to provide access to all manner of academic achievement, employment experience and other merits.
The Open University have been experimenting with a blockchain solution in their Knowledge Media Institute (KMI) and are working to place OpenLearn Badges and Open University accreditation onto that platform. With this, OpenLearn and Open University students will have their badges in a single portfolio, secure in the knowledge that their accreditation will never be lost, said a statement.
Gary McKay, co-founder and CEO, APPII told IBTimesUK about this blockchain use case. “Let’s say I have got a CV and I have got three institutions I have received qualifications from. In order for an employer to verify this, they have got to reach back out to three different organisations.”
Another option is to use a “verification broker”; some agency or other whose sole function is to check if people are lying or not.
“It’s costly and it takes time. Putting this on the blockchain, basically diminishes the need to use brokers for the verification. It also allows for that verification to happen very easily.”
McKay agreed it was bit like a decentralised Linked-in, without the social aspect. “It’s purely about how can we bring candidates and employers closer together, diminish the time it takes for them to find each other and use the quality information that’s basically applied to the blockchain.
McKay added: “Ethereum at the present moment is the underpinnings of the APPI platform – so it uses blockchain smart contracts.”
McKay said he was looking into ways to store data without incurring the costs of keeping everything on the Ethereum blockchain. He added that the APPII system was about the entire life cycle of individuals.
In terms of a possible roll-out he said: “We are looking to have a soft launch in Autumn 2016, with our platform with on-boarded students and higher education providers, so the likes of the Open University.”
Professor John Domingue, KMi director, The Open University, said “We view the placing of badges and accreditation onto the blockchain as a first step in transforming Higher Education through the use of this technology.
“We envisage a future where, however gained, all acquired skills are accredited in an easily verifiable way and where educational attainment, recognition and reputation can be acquired, transferred and managed as a special type of currency. Blockchain will bring many benefits related to efficiency, cost, empowerment and transparency opening up a wide range of new educational models.