Developing an Open Source Wallet for Digital Credentials
Many organizations in the U.S. and worldwide are experimenting with digital credentials that provide equitable, verifiable records of the many forms of academic credentials available to learners — diplomas, professional certifications, and any of an increasing variety of microcredentials. The members of the Digital Credentials Consortium (DCC) — comprising 12 international universities — are working together to develop new digital systems for academic credentials. The DCC approach focuses on open standards, as well as developing software, systems and approaches to ensure learner control of their digital credentials.
In 2020, MIT entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education to design and implement an open source mobile wallet app to store digital credentials, a critical but under-developed element in the digital credentials technology ecosystem. A digital wallet allows learners to store and control their credentials in one place, with equal visibility and accessibility, so they can more easily manage and share them with others.
This project included writing a specification for the wallet, informed by the team’s work with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), with plans to introduce it through the open standards community. Next, the team developed the Learner Credential Wallet, a mobile wallet app for learners to store open standards-compliant digital credentials (i.e., Verifiable Credentials), available for both iOS and Android.
Beyond this project, the DCC continues to work with pilot sites at College Unbound, Georgia Institute of Technology and San Jose City College on use of the mobile wallet.