A blockchain solution that allow language institutions to certificate their students through a standardised and balanced system that guarantee the quality and acknowledgment of the exams provided.
- Standardize the languages tests and give them the same authority and acknowledgement between all the institutions;
- Assure that all the results and documentation are recorded by transactions using a dedicated blockchain technology, and consequently to guarantee to all the users of the network to access to the resources based on their permissions that are regulated from smart contracts done time by time between them;
- Encrypt and protect all the user data and guarantee that their information like exam results will be stored in the blockchain and be available forever;
- The ability to earn Academic Coins (the monetary system used in MyPerformances) for all the actors of the system, those who create exercises, those that allow to validate them, institutions that will be a certification examination centre for the MyPerformances certification and for deserving students that they will earn academic coins based on their results during the exam sessions.
MyPerformances is made to testing language skills. The core of the system is based on the items. We can sell them, we can buy them and we can use them to compose structured exams. We can split the system in five main parts. The first one is dedicated to the item writers that are experts in language testing that create items. The second one is the item validation phase, the third the items marketplace, the fourth the language exam sessions management and the last one about the results management and the rewarding system.
In MyPerformances teachers, professors, certificated experts, passionates, can produce their own items and, after passing the validation phase, publish them in the marketplace and start to earn academic coins. Based on the effort that are needed to create an item, the item writers can freely choose the cost in academic coins of their own items.
For instance, as the below graphic is showing, items would be possible to be generated from a freelancer, a group of item writers who belong to the same institute or to different ones.
An item could be published on the marketplace if and only if it will pass the validation phase.
This phase is the most delicate and important of the entire system. Items will be presented to students who are attending preparation courses that allow them to be better prepared before taking an international language certificate such as Cambridge ESOL certification. That means that potentially all the preparation centres for international languages certification could become an evaluation centre for items provided by MyPerformances. For instance, Cambridge ESOL has a global network of about 50.000 preparation centres.
The judgment that an item will pass the evaluation phase depends on the comparison between the results obtained evaluating the items provided during the preparation course and the results obtained by the same set of students during the international certification exam. In order to normalize and compare those sets of results MyPerformances will use a detailed algorithm that use and consider the Gaussian Function, Standard and Bivariate Normal Distribution, the central limit theorem, the Chi-Squared Test and the Paired t-Test.
Evaluation Centres that will do that activity will earn the 25% of the value generated by the items (once they will be used). As we can see from the graph evaluation centres activities could not be connected with the first phase and therefore an evaluation centre could just evaluate items provided and generated by other institutions that are for instance just item writers.
As already described, the costs of the items are freely decided by the item writers. Therefore to give the possibility to the exam session managers to compose their specific language exams and choose the items based on their specific needs, MyPerformances will offer a dedicated marketplace where it will be easily to search, view and compose language exams just selecting the desired item. Items will present some details like the author, the types (reading comprehension, listening comprehension, use of the language, oral, written), the level (A1, A2, …), the language (English, German, …) and if they have received endorsements from institutes that and used them. Moreover for each item it will be possible to see the statistics of the use and effectiveness of it.
An item will be endorsed by an institute if and only if that item was useful to determine the results of the test takers. The endorsement is an automatic procedure that is made by MyPerformances after the analysis of the exam session results that are coming from a specific institution. For instance, it could be possible that an item is effective in an Institute and not in another. This is a natural phenomenon that could be happen based on the geolocation where an item is used.
Items that will be endorsed from at least three institutes will be then eligible to become items for the MyPerformances exam certification. To be eligible those items must also have other properties that are outside from the didactic aspect of an item but they are related to the possibility to use them with people with disabilities such as partially sighted or with motor disorders.
In the below graph endorsement is represented by colored cockade. In the example the color is related to the institution that is releasing the endorsement. The black one is related to the endorsement provided by the MyPerformances scientific board.
Like nowadays is happening, institutes will have the possibility to define the composition of the language exams based on their needs without having to be forced to use a default nor static exam structure. For instance, like in the below graph, University B and University D are offering the same exam level (Italian B1) but they are using a different exam structure. They both have three sections (use of language, reading and listening) but they differ on the number of items that are required inside them.
Each time that an item is used, a fraction of the whole item cost will be paid to the item writer from the institute that is using it. As previously said the 25% of that amount will be sent to the institute that has validate the used item. Obviously, if the item was created and evaluated by the same institute that is using it, no costs for the visualization of the item are due. In order to keep the system available, MyPerformances will apply a fee for each exam that will be provided to the test takers. Part of that fee will be used in order to later gratify deserving students. All the fees will be sent to the Academic Bank and from there all the transactions to the students wallets will be made.
The whole cost of an item is splitted based on the minimal amount of times that it will be used. For instance if an item will cost 50 Academic coins and the minimal amount of times to repay that cost is defined at 500, the cost of each single use of the item will be 0,1 Academic Coins. Moreover, an item will be used inside an institute for a limited number of times that depends on the number of students that are enrolled to that institute. Once that the maximum number of visualizations has been reached in an institution, that item is frozen until the a new cycle of students will be activated in that institute. For instance, in a university the cycle could be defined as three-years cycle.
Institutes that have reduced resources or that want to provide to their students a MyPerformances exam session the structure of the exam will be provided by the system and all the examination processes will be followed to the MyPerformances scientific board. This opportunity will be a win-win solution from both the student and the institute.
From one hand the institution will not be charged to pay because the expenses will be covered by the students and to the other hand students will receive a recognized certificate that will be stored forever into the blockchain and hopefully then even internationally recognised.
In relation to the linguistic competence, and to the learning/acquisition of a second language, four different areas are then identified, strictly connected, depending on whether it is an active or passive competence, and that it concerns the phonic substance or the graphic one of the language.
Based on that a matrix is constructed, which contains the ability to speak (active competence and phonic substance), the ability to understand an oral dialogue (passive competence and phonic substance), the ability to write (active competence and graphic substance), the ability to understand a written text (passive competence and graphic substance). So when a “passive” competence is evaluated, the system simply consider that no production is required, neither phonetic nor graphic.
Therefore for exams where only a passive competence is required, the system will immediately calculate the result of the given exam and store those information in the blockchain. In case that an exam is also composed on active competence sections, those parts will be recorded into the system and evaluated in a later stage. MyPerformances will allow the institutes to manage and evaluate the active parts produced by the test takers during the exam sessions.
All the results that will be stored into the blockchain will be then available for all the nodes (institutions) that will be part of the network based on their specific permissions and agreements (smart contracts) that will be defined between them. The results will be stored forever, the interchange of the information between the nodes will be really easy and the truth of the results will be unique in all the network. This allows institutions to accelerate all the processes that involve the recognition of the exams and the interexchange of the information between them.
MyPerformances is a meritocratic system that after each exam session, will allocate part of the funds that are paid by the institutions and stored into the Academic Bank to the deserving students of that exam session. Therefore after each exam session, students will be immediately able to receive academic coins on their own wallet based on their commitment during the exam session.
MyPerformances technical information
Blockchain can do for business what the internet did for communication. Powering that transformation is Hyperledger, hosted by The Linux Foundation, featuring innovators in finance, banking, IoT, supply chains, manufacturing and technology – including IBM. Hyperledger Fabric is the first project to move to active status within the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger, emerging as the de-facto standard for enterprise blockchain platforms like the IBM Blockchain Platform and others. Through open source and open governance, Hyperledger Fabric features innovative new capabilities hardened for use by businesses so they can usher in a new era of trust, transparency and accountability .
The system core of MyPerformances runs on Hyperledger Fabric, whose goal is to permit to private companies and other bodies to enjoy the benefits of a blockchain maintaining the transactions privates using specific channels where the chaincode (smart contracts) will run. The main reasons that MyPerformances is using the Hyperledger Fabric could be summarize as:
Outline of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO)
Academic coin (ACA) operates and lives within the NEM blockchain platform. NEM operates secure, RESTful APIs that allow developers to build unique, user friendly solutions on top of the platform. To send Academic Coins or make Academic Coins transactions a user will pay a nominal transaction fee in the XEM cryptocurrency. Unlike Ethereum, fees in the NEM blockchain are non-variable, reliable and low cost.
Pulslab Srl launched a token named Academic Coin. Academic Coin has been in testing and prototyping phases for months. Academic Coin is in circulation today. The functioning is exactly the same of any other currencies: when you buy some items in MyPerformances you pay with Academic Coin and, if someone buy your contents, you earn Academic Coin. It’s easy to find out that Academic Coin can be an opportunity for students and not only money but a real bursary of the new university concept which allow students to pay university fees, or other stuff.
But why Academic Coin is important? Behind Academic Coin there is something more than a coin. The Academic Coin ecosystem is made by students and for students. Thanks to its primary use in MyPerformances, Academic Coin could be accepted also by major Universities and Colleges, and this mean that you can pay taxes or fees directly in Academic Coin. Students throughout Italy, and hopefully all over the world, will have at their disposal the Academic Coin Wallet, which differs substantially from all other cryptocurrency portfolios because it is a portfolio that concerns their future and their scholastic career.
Detail of Issuer