Blockchain Technologies for the Validation, Verification, Authentication and Storing of Students’ Data

Blockchain Technologies for the Validation, Verification, Authentication and Storing of Students’ Data

Abstract

The rapid changes brought about by digital technologies in education offer rich, personalised and differentiated modes of e-learning. However, the anytime, anywhere access to teaching, learning and assessment material requires a paradigm shift in the conceptualisation and implementation of validation, verification, authentication and storing of students’ data. This is especially relevant for accredited or certified programmes such as online bachelor or master degree courses, which quite often carry a substantial cost and relatively high time-consumption in terms of the recording and verification of students’ learning credentials. Blockchain technologies offer an interesting and innovative approach for securing sensitive information in online educational environments. One of its main impetus is the ability, or rather the non-ability of retrospectively altering data which is stored on the blockchain. This indelible and unalterable nature of blockchain technologies allow for greater safeguarding when compared to conventional password-protected directories, from both within and outside the organisational e-learning environment. Furthermore, the open nature of public blockchains, supports decentralised data verification, hence independent of any central authority and consequently valid across different programmes, departments, institutions and countries. This also extends beyond traditional formal learning institutions, such as non-formal or informal education, but more importantly, it offers an easy and inexpensive way for businesses and job providers to safely and securely verify prospective employees’ credentials. The aim of this paper is to critically evaluate the role of blockchain technologies in e-learning, by discussing the challenges, prospects and implications of implementation of this new technology to prevent identity fraud in online (as well as traditional) learning contexts and securely and irrevocably store students’ data. This includes issues relating to students' records, transcripts, identity and badges, but also the provision of infrastructure security and smart contracts in online learning environments.

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Authors
  • Pfeiffer, Alexander
  • Bezzina, Stephen
  • Wernbacher, Thomas
  • Kriglstein, Simone
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Shortfacts
Category
Paper in Conference Proceedings or in Workshop Proceedings (Paper)
Event Title
19th European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL)
Divisions
Computer Science Didactics and Learning Research Center
Subjects
Angewandte Informatik
Computer in der Freizeit
Informatik Sonstiges
Event Location
Berlin, Germany
Event Type
Conference
Event Dates
18-30 Oktober
Date
2020
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