Learning and Employment Records (LERs)—also referred to as digital wallets or verifiable credentials wallets—offer learners and workers the tools to communicate the totality of their skills and abilities to employers. But few people understand the value of this emerging technology and how to use it to their advantage.
Preliminary research on the use of Blockcerts, a LER prototype at Georgia Tech, found that students were confused by the platform, frustrated by the unfamiliar terminology, and did not trust that their academic records would be shared safely. As more LERs come on the market, educational institutions and technology developers must consider end-user perspectives to ensure equitable adoption, particularly among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
Building on our efforts to mitigate racial bias in LER design through Inclusive Design Principles, Digital Promise is starting a new collaborative project to promote equitable LER implementation and use. Over the next several months, we are partnering with LER pilot projects—via the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s T3 Innovation Network as well as pilots involved in our LER certification work— to engage end-users who are involved in existing pilots in a professional learning community.
The professional learning community will be a space driven by end-users, but we expect themes related to accessibility, digital resilience, usability, and trust to emerge. The community will create space for end-users to share their experiences, ask questions, and explore the potential benefits—and drawbacks—of LER technology together. Our goal is to understand what is needed for people to access and use LERs effectively.
As a result, we aim to co-create a toolkit for LER onboarding and orientation that educational institutions, technology developers, and others can use to support equitable adoption. The toolkit may include such features as learner-facing guidelines, a glossary of terms, and/or an inventory of digital literacy skills.
Learn more about this project in our press release.