9G/ Edu - Vc’s

From IIW

VC in edu

Session Convener: Kerri Lemoie (kerri@openworksgrp.com)

Notes-taker(s): Heather Flanagan

Tags / links to resources / technology discussed, related to this session:

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

What’s going on in education with verifiable credentials.


This is a task force of the Verifiable Credentials CG, currently working on:

  • use case doc
  • Recommendation as to how those use cases could be applied as VCs

It’s a mix theoretical discussion and field reports. Focused on education in a very broad way. Education is broadly defined as lifelong learning, informal learning, formal learning, etc etc etc. The work is global in scope.

Some consider the VC space “not fully baked”. That is a common perception, and so the pilot projects have focused on on-ramp and interop with existing systems.

The standard for VC is not seen as fully-baked because the spec itself is not well-specified, much is marked non-normative, and the normative text is not prescriptive enough for companies that need stability to trust it or to understand how to implement it.

Open Badges is a related spec, possibly considered a use case; VCs could align to Open Badges, but that’s a work in progress.

On the CLR side, North Dakota uses it for K-12 transcript. It is comprehensive in that there is more than one assertion for the learner.

There is also development being done around an endorsement credential (HR Open Credential). Endorsement required cross-credential crypto binding. Verifiable Presentation does not actually allow for this - they are authenticating the holder, but not the issuer, and it does not provide crypto binding between two credentials.

Student id as an example: some deployments implement as a model of a credential, and some implement a student ID as several interlinked, cryptographically bound credentials.

The Diploma Supplement in the EU is active work going on with the crypto bound assertions that’s tied to the euro pass work.

Focus seems to be on transcript issues, but the higher ed space needs a much broader set of use cases. Example: interactions with content publishers. Publishers are still largely using IP addresses to authorize access to content. We have to look at ways we can solve problems like that, too.

There also use cases focusing on the licensing of teachers.

People are digitizing all the things, so it’s in our interest to get that into individuals’ control.

Are there trust registries for issuers? Haven’t solved it, but have bumped up against it. There is a project called GAIN (see link above) that might be of interest. Also, should education accreditation bodies be the same entity of entity that should act as a trust registry for VCs?

Considering large publishers as an unethical model, we should be supporting OpenAccess publishing. So let’s not talk about how to support publishers with VCs and instead focus on more interesting use cases that support humanity.

Is there any discussion about how to transition the earlier versions to newer versions of OpenBadges? Yes, they are backwards compatible.

There are levels of interoperability, the issuer and the skills.

A question about if/how AC/DC relates to this work (re: issuing linked credentials). The VC group is focusing less on the envelope and more on the content.