Blockchain has disrupted a lot of industries and the eLearning industry is leveraging the technology to provide authenticity.
Fremont, CA: The blockchain is a list of records to which more records can be added continuously. These records are called blocks and are linked together with cryptographic technologies. Thus, the technology is called the blockchain. Each block is securely connected to the previous block. Blockchain is a decentralized network. It is deposited on many different computers called nodes. The storage method ensures information verification at any time. The manipulation of data on the blockchain is difficult as the 51 percent nodes need to be changed. It powers digital cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This powerful technology is mainly used for logging financial transactions, but the blockchain is being applied to several industries to document verifiable transactions securely. The eLearning industry is one of those industries.
The ways transactions are recorded on blockchain are different from the way most transactions are logged. For instance, the financial services industry registers its transactions in a centralized ledger that is controlled by single organizations such as a bank. Centralized ledgers are controlled by one organization, susceptible to data manipulation, and are vulnerable to hacking or nefarious attacks. With a centralized ledger, the stakeholders have to put their trust in an organization to handle data. Blockchain tackles this problem as it is not up to a single organization that has the power to alter the ledger. The operations are openly visible and provable on every computer in the chain. Computer hacking or exploits do not pose a risk as there is no centralized point of vulnerability. A perpetrator has to hack every computer on the web to alter a transaction.
ELearning’s primary purpose is to teach, learn, and verify new skills and knowledge. Organizations award those skills to individuals in the form of credentials, which are then confirmed by third parties. The entire ecosystem relies on trust and verifiability. Organizations create a curriculum and serve it to individuals who are eager to learn. The learning process can be online or in-person, but is the individual successfully finishes the course; the educational institution awards them with credentials. Generally, the credentials come in the form of a paper certificate, a digital badge, or a digital certificate. The learners that pursue the course are trying to show a current or potential future employer that they are updating their skills and learning. Thus, it is common for students to share their credentials within their professional or personal network.
Employers and verifiers monitor the progress of the learner as it helps in making critical hiring decisions. Employers often hire third-party firms to recruit and hire. These third parties need to be able to securely verify the genuineness of the credentials, who issued them, who earned them, and if they are currently valid. However, the biggest issue in this ecosystem is trust. Once the credentials are logged in the blockchain, they cannot be altered, faked, or spoofed. For instance, if an individual tries to create a fake credential that duplicates an original one, it would not verify against the existing blockchain record. If the credential issuing company is hacked, the digital credentials will remain secure. This indicates that organizations can securely issue credentials to individuals.