Blockchain Architecture Stack to Smart Education

Blockchain Architecture Stack to Smart Education

Palanivel Kuppusamy (Pondicherry University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5175-2.ch008

Abstract

Blockchain is an emerging technology that serves as an immutable ledger and publicly available infrastructure for building decentralized applications. Blockchain-based applications ensure transparency and trust between all parties involved in the interaction. Nowadays, educational organizations focus on online education and propose to create a system based on educational smart contracts in a public ledger. This public ledger shall be shared between major online and offline educational institutes around the world. From a software architecture perspective, blockchain enables new forms of distributed software architectures across a large network of untrusted participants. The objective of this chapter is to propose a blockchain architecture stack to smart education. The proposed architecture exploits the benefits of the blockchain and global ecosystem simplification to create a globally trusted higher education credit system.
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Introduction

Blockchain is an emerging technology (Evris, 2018), which provide significant opportunities to disrupt traditional products and services due to the distributed and decentralized in nature. The features such as the permanence of the blockchain record and the ability to run smart contracts make blockchain technology-based products or services significantly different from previous internet-based commercial developments and of particular interest to the education sector. Besides, currently, stakeholders within education are largely unaware of the social advantages and potential of blockchain technology.

The increased interest and the variety of blockchain technologies lead to the growth of their application domains. The idea of storing educational records in the blockchain has been circulating in the press and academic papers for several years. Nowadays, most of the educational organizations focus on online education. These educational organizations propose to create a system based on the educational smart contracts in a public ledger. This public ledger can be shared between major offline educational institutes.

Context

Blockchain technology is forecast to disrupt any field of activity that is founded on time-stamped record-keeping of titles of ownership. Within education, activities likely to be disrupted by blockchain technology include the award of qualifications, licensing and accreditation, management of student records, intellectual property management and payments.

In education systems (St. Laurent, Andrew M. 2008) student records are endless, and with blockchain technology, assets like attendance, courses, payments toward tuition if they attend a private school, grades, coursework, and even their diploma can become part of their blockchain record. Since these records cannot be deleted, this helps with data security in that it is immutable. It also belongs to the student, rather than to the school. With blockchain, no participant can tamper with a record after it has been saved. If a record has an error, a new record must be added to correct it, and both the incorrect and correct records will remain visible.

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