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Over the past five years, a lot has been written about blockchain and its possible impact on higher education. The Clearinghouse has been monitoring blockchain technology for years as it has matured and is investigating use cases that are the most pertinent to the education and workforce communities.

The Clearinghouse has begun working to evaluate the use of blockchain technology to produce a permanent, verifiable record of learning and skills certifications.

What Is Blockchain?

For those unfamiliar with blockchain, it is a secure digital ledger of transactions that allows students and institutions to maintain their academic records that can’t be tampered with — while continuing to build on this record over time. Blockchain is a technology that is built in a database for the sole purpose of easing the process to share content across multiple parties in real-time.

How blockchain works diagram

The Exploration

The exploration of blockchain technology is being performed to further enhance and potentially evolve our existing service platforms. We are evaluating a national use case for this technology and will be able to provide updates on this evaluation in the coming months.

This evaluation cycle is designed to enable us to:

  • Development of governance and administration related requirements that create a highly trusted, secure, scalable and interoperable national network
  • Understand and learn from the unique set of blockchain use cases, that are identified
  • Understand our potential role in the blockchain environment and how we would apply this technology to best serve institutions and learners in a non-proprietary environment

Blockchain is one of many technologies that will be in existence to support the authentication of learner attainment. The Clearinghouse is committed to making sure that our platforms and portfolios are designed to support the multimedia environment. The Clearinghouse’s mission of service to the education and workforce communities and learners are directly linked to supporting the development of the most appropriate use cases for this technology.

In the coming months, we will provide those who are interested an opportunity to receive updates on the Clearinghouse’s progress in this blockchain exploration.

To learn more about the Clearinghouse’s efforts to evaluate blockchain technology,
contact Shelby Stanfield.