Decentralising Open Education Using Blockchain Technology :async:

Alexander Mikroyannidis (The Open University)

The emergence of Blockchain technology promises to decentralise and revolutionise not only the financial world, but also open education in various ways. Blockchain technology offers opportunities to thoroughly rethink how we find and share open educational content online, as well as how we get accredited for what we have learned and how this accreditation affects our career and learning trajectory.

A Blockchain is a publicly shared immutable ledger, which uses crypto-currency techniques to minimise any security risk. This technology offers a decentralised peer-to-peer infrastructure, where privacy, secure archiving, consensual ownership, transparency, accountability, identity management and trust are built-in. Blockchain technology can act as a provenance protocol for sharing data across disparate semi-trusting organisations, without the need for any central control. The value of Blockchain technology at documenting, verifying, and sharing data across diverse stakeholders can be a particularly valuable asset in today’s fast-pacing economy, which is largely driven by continuous learning and credentialing.

Blockchain technology can support the capacity building of stakeholders to create, access, re-use, adapt and redistribute OER in several ways. First of all, Blockchain technology offers secure mechanisms for recording the provenance of data. These mechanisms can be used to securely record the provenance of OER so that intellectual property rights are protected. The immutability offered by the Blockchain ensures that the provenance records of OER always remain valid and cannot be tampered or falsified. Additionally, a Blockchain-based reputation point system can offer incentives to stakeholders for authoring, reusing, adapting and redistributing OER.

The QualiChain research and innovation project focuses on the assessment of the technical, political, socio-economic, legal and cultural impact of Blockchain technology and decentralisation in education. QualiChain investigates the creation, piloting and evaluation of decentralised solutions for storing, sharing and verifying education and employment qualifications and explores the potential of Blockchain technology for disrupting the domain of education, as well as its interfaces with private education, the job market, public sector administrative procedures and the wider socio-economic developments.

This Interactive Activity will explore the different aspects of open education that are affected by decentralisation. More specifically, it will be focused on the ways that the authoring, sharing, re-using and accrediting of OER can be supported by decentralisation and the use of Blockchain technology. Participants will also have the opportunity to try out and evaluate the online platform of the QualiChain project, which offers Blockchain-based accreditation of OER, as well as career and learning pathway building services around the Blockchain-based accreditation of OER.

Extended abstract: OE_Global_2021_paper_33.pdf 📄

Activity Details

UNESCO OER Action Area: Building capacity
Format: Asynchronous Interactive Activity
Language: English


This activity can be completed at any time during (or after) the conference.

Instructions and materials for the activity will be added below by the authors. They will provide specific details on how to participate and what to share back as a response to the activity.

To participate in this activity, please join this open course:

Decentralising Education Using Blockchain Technology

When you complete this course, you will receive a free statement of participation. Additionally, if you try the QualiChain platform, you will also gain a Smart Badge!

Happy to answer any questions!

Welcome to #OEGlobal21!

If you’d like to learn about blockchain technology and its potential for transforming education, please join this open course.

Please hit Reply to share your thoughts!

Many thanks to everyone who has joined this course! You can still join and hit Reply to share your thoughts!

You may also complete this anonymous survey to help us improve the QualiChain platform.

I created an account. I enrolled the course. But I can’t see where to go to access the content ? It is still proposed, but is it active ?

Hi Anthere, you can access the course content either from the link I’ve posted above or from this page. Let me know if this works for you.