Professors at the University of Oxford have developed a tool that uses distributed accounting technology to record student and faculty data to create a university institution where grades and degrees are forgery-proof.

14 Oxford researchers created Woolf, a platform where professors offer to dictate university content. Their teaching model is inspired by Oxford’s, so students, once accepted, are given a personalised tutorial and must submit at least two essays once a week. The project will be officially launched at the end of the year.

This platform makes it possible to eliminate the need for administrative staff, at least in terms of data processing of the students enrolled in the program, with the implementation of smart contracts. The functioning of the university would depend directly on the academic team that teaches the classes.

Woolf will be the first blockchain-powered university with its own native token. The design has been developed by an independent group of leading academics, and experienced academics will form the first college in the collegiate university.

Woolf will be a borderless, educational society which reimagines how teachers and students connect. It will rely on blockchains and smart contracts to guarantee relationships between students and educators. For students, it will be the Airbnb of degree courses; for teachers, it will be a decentralised, non-profit, democratic community; but for both parties the use of blockchain technology will provide the contractual stability needed to complete a full course of study.

Any change in a student’s academic life would require the agreement of thousands of computers. Changes with retroactive effect are virtually impossible, a global conspiracy would be needed.

Joshua Broggi
Director and founding member, Woolf

Unlike other online education plans at renowned universities such as MIT or Hardvard, Woolf offers face-to-face tutoring, weekly meetings and face-to-face meetings between students and teachers. The functioning of the university takes advantage of blockchain technology, but the training process maintains in a certain way the traditional model. Students will pay lower tuition fees than those at UK universities such as Oxford.

Even teachers or those interested in becoming teachers will benefit. The credential evaluation process will be more transparent, since the process will be fully registered on the network, fully complying with the curricular requirements without including other subjective areas, which often play a leading role in this type of evaluation, carried out behind closed doors between the members of the evaluation board.

Blockchain technology has been related to education in other projects. In Greece pla technology blockchain will be used for the registration of titles, and with the help of the technology solutions company IOHK, they will develop an application for this purpose.

In Australia, the Royal Institute of Technology in Melbourne announced that it will offer an 8-week online course on Blockchain Strategies, along with Accenture and the Stone & Chalk Entrepreneurship Centre.

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