Supporting Lifelong Learning
The overall objective of this pilot, conducted by The Open University, is to investigate how blockchain technologies can support lifelong learners in their learning journey and in advancing their career, for example, by offering them personalised recommendations based on their learning achievements. The main goals of this pilot are the following:
- Awarding lifelong learners with transparent and immutable educational accreditation;
- Offering lifelong learners personalised recommendations;
- Supporting lifelong learners in reaching their personal or professional learning goals.
- Lifelong learners. Lifelong learners pursue learning throughout their lifetime, for either personal or professional reasons. They may study to develop new skills that they need in their professional life, for example, to advance their career by finding a new job or by being promoted in their current job. They may also study to acquire skills and knowledge for personal reasons, for example, as a hobby of theirs. Lifelong learners may engage in either formal or informal education, or both, depending on their current learning goals and personal or professional circumstances.
- Educational institutions. These are institutions that provide education or training services, either paid ones or free. The offerings of educational institutions can vary from conventional offline degrees to online free or paid courses, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) or Open Educational Resources (OERs).
Lifelong learners are earning Smart Badges upon reaching certain milestones in their studies, e.g., completing part of a course or a whole course. Smart Badges are stored on the Blockchain, thus ensuring the validity of the awarded accreditation and eliminating the risk of fabricated qualifications. Smart Badges include data about the key skills that learners have acquired upon obtaining these badges. As learners continue to earn these badges, they start receiving personalised recommendations about the latest job offers that match their skills. They also receive recommendations about what to study next, based on the skills needed for the job market.