MicroHE at #EDLW2018

0xcert Protocol Solution in MicroHE

The day before the 3rd face to face MicroHE partner meeting 0xcert CEO, Kristijan Sedlak, has joined some of us to discuss how their technological expertise and the 0xcert Protocol Solution could help achieve our ambitious goals.

Why Blockchain in Education?

Like any other industry, public services are subject to the evolution of technology and IT, as well as influenced by digitization of internal systems and operations. To address this issue, the Expert Workshop brought together the field experts to discuss the advancement and applicability of technology in the realm of higher education.

What can 0xcert Bring to the Table?

Together with MicroHE partners, Knowledge 4 All Foundation (K4A) and the Jozef Stefan Institute (JSI), 0xcert is building a blockchain-based system for issuing and management of academic credentials, leveraging blockchain qualities of traceability, security, and ease of authentication.

Also, by implementing the NFT (non-fungible token) technology, the uniqueness, meta-data, and identity related to a certificate can be securely protected on a ledger while providing all involved parties with a simple, autonomous, and intuitive means of management.

Kristijan Sedlak presented the 0xcert Protocol and its application for academic credentials publicly for the first time in Malta, discussing the vision of the final tech solution jointly with colleagues from MicroHE. Both the customized 0xcert Protocol and the front-end interface mock-up (developed to explain how the portability of micro-credentials could be facilitated) were received with great appreciation and enthusiasm.

The original blog post of 0xcert expresses gratitude for the opportunity to do their first public presentation in front the MicroHE partnership, but we feel just as proud and excited about this collaboration as they do. Kristijan, thank you for joining us in Malta.

Towards a Universal System for Recording Educational Credit: MicroHE & OEPass

The overarching idea of the founding member of the MicroHE project (namely KIC, TUT and DHBW) was to address the fragmentation of credentials in Higher Education. New forms of education such as MOOCs are blurring the difference between formal and non-formal education, while providers of Higher Education offer a whole host of credentials – no longer only degrees –, each with different properties, value and recognition.

The MicroHE project was designed to focus explicitly on micro-credentials, commonly related to a specific form of learning known as SLP or short learning programme. This can be loosely defined as any sub-degree learning experience, whether formal, non-formal or informal, which confer a minimum of 5 ECTS credits and are offered by accredited and/or recognised institutions. In particular, MicroHE aims to provide a recognition framework for students to combine various modules offered by different (mainly online) education providers into sub-degree qualifications such as MicroMasters or Nanodegrees.

While MicroHE is focusing on these special types of micro-credentials in Higher Education, its sister project, OEPass, has complementary objectives. OEPass started with the simple idea of using the already widely accepted ECTS as a base standard, and use different combinations of ECTS building blocks to describe new forms of credentials that have emerged with open learning experiences. Open education and virtual mobility can often be non-formal, self-guided and vary in length from a few hours to multiple weeks, and OEPass envisages to create a standard (meta-data) format to account for these learning experiences with ‘universal currency’.

As MicroHE and OEPass focus on different but closely related parts of the alternative HE offering spectrum, close collaboration between the two projects promises great prospects. To exploit the synergy between the initiatives, and to maximise their benefits, the two consortia agreed to use a common set of formats and meta-data to describe the various credentials on which they focus, thus ensuring that the projects help in consolidating existing recognition instruments rather than further fragmenting them. The partnerships have also agreed to work with other projects investigating the field to share approaches and continue building on this innovative cooperation.

By focusing on complementary parts of the credential ecosystem, and applying the same (meta-data) standards, OEPass & MicroHE hope to introduce a level of harmonisation throughout open education.

Cross posted from the OEPass web site

MicroHE at the Open Education Design Course

In July 2018 the University of Nova Gorica and the UNESCO Chair on Open Technologies for Open Educational Resources and Open Learning at Jožef Stefan Institute organised the Course in Open Education Design to equip the participants with basic knowledge, practical advice and hands-on experience to prepare them for their own design of Open Educational […]

Responding to the trend of Micro-Credentials

The world of work increasingly demands a quick response from the education system to provide people with the desired qualifications. In response, MOOCs have tried to make their content as digestible and flexible as possible. Degrees are broken into modules; modules into courses; courses into short segments. The MOOCs test for optimal length to ensure […]