Learning Vault's latest technology release: elevating credentialing with advanced standards and features

Aug 30, 2023

Learning Vault, a pioneer in credentialing solutions, is proud to announce a milestone technology release that will redefine the way individuals, educational institutions, and organisations utilise digital credentials. This comprehensive update brings a suite of features that enhance security, accessibility, and interoperability, setting a new industry standard in digital credentialing.

All features will be released on Monday the 4th of September (excluding our upcoming feature, which will be released over the coming weeks).

Use the links to jump to a particular section, or read all updates below. 

New Learning Vault standard: Open Badges 3.0 and W3C standards
New APIs for enhanced integration
Multi-factor authentication for elevated security
New endorsement feature
- A help portal for a more seamless user experience
New reports and enhanced user management
Key terminology updates
Redundant feature removals
Upcoming: Pathways and Open RSDs - The future of credentialing

New Learning Vault standard: Open Badges 3.0 and W3C standards

Learning Vault now fully conforms to the Open Badges 3.0 standard and aligns with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standard. This significant enhancement ensures that Learning Vault credentials maintain compatibility with both standards, providing an additional layer of encryption, security, and offline verification. The new standard ensures seamless integration with blockchain technology and wallets in the future.

Learning Vault will retain backward compatibility with Open Badges 1.0, Open Badges 2.0, Open Badges 2.1, and the new Open Badges 3.0, ensuring a smooth transition for users.

New APIs for enhanced integration

Learning Vault has introduced new APIs to foster seamless third-party integrations. Partners and enterprise clients can now incorporate Learning Vault's features into their own platforms, eliminating the need for managing credentials across multiple environments.

Multi-factor authentication for elevated security

Learning Vault has introduced multi-factor authentication (MFA) as an optional feature. Users can opt for MFA through a range of authenticator applications like Google Authenticator, bolstering account security and control.

New endorsement feature

‘Endorsers’ is a new feature that further elevates the Learning Vault standard and will perform a pivotal role in credential validation. Endorsers can be either formal or informal – ‘formal’ being how endorsers are outlined within OB3.0, and ‘informal’ to conform to optionality within W3C. 

Endorsers behave similarly to issuers and are flagged on the assertion page in accordance with the type of endorser they are. Options can include Training Provider, Industry Partner, Industry Regulator, Insured By, etc. Any given credential may have multiple endorsers that are either formal or informal.

When an endorser is designated as formal, a token is sent to a nominated email address at the endorsing organisation. The endorsing organisation must then approve the contents of the credential template that has requested their endorsement. Until this approval is submitted, the credential template will not be available for publishing. Learning Vault has implemented a user-friendly system for obtaining endorsements, ensuring credentials receive the necessary formal approvals before publishing.

The introduction of a help portal for a more seamless user experience

Learning Vault has introduced a new help portal accessible via a "?" button at the bottom right of the screen, providing direct access for users to how-to videos and platform walkthroughs. This help portal covers our most frequently asked questions as well as overviews of key features and functionalities.

Introducing new reports and enhanced user management

With the introduction of two new reports, administrators gain a valuable toolset to streamline operations. The "Issued Credentials" report offers detailed insights into issued credentials, enabling administrators to filter and export specific data points for efficient analysis. The "Credential Templates" report allows administrators to view and export published credential templates, enhancing metadata visibility and offline assessment.

Learning Vault has also enhanced user management capabilities, enabling bulk addition and removal of users. When users are removed, their credential repository will not be impacted, ensuring streamlined administration benefits while preserving credential repositories for recipients indefinitely.

Key terminology updates

Recognising the evolution of credentialing, Learning Vault has revised its platform's terminology. 

The familiar "digital badge" is now referred to as a "digital credential" or "verifiable credential," signifying a more sophisticated representation of achievements, and an alignment to W3C protocols. This change underscores Learning Vault's commitment to ensuring that credentials carry maximum value and meaning to recipients.

The "Skills" section of the credential assertion page has been updated to "About". This change has been made to better accommodate descriptions of the issuing and/or endorsing organisations.

"Backpack" has also now been changed to "wallet" in line with the new Learning Vault standards. This will enable our credentials to seamlessly be shared with Apple and Google wallets on devices.

There are two adjustments to user types on the platform. The legacy "User" profile (for individuals who have received a credential) has been updated for clarity to be called "Recipient". The "User" profile that was previously used to allow stakeholders view only access has been updated to be called "View only".

Redundant feature removals

There are several features that have been removed from the platform as they were not being used by clients and tended to cause more confusion than benefit. These include:

- Claims
- Discover
- Dashboard
- Using groups
- Using users
- Memberships
- Groups

Another feature that has been removed is the ability to manually expire credentials. This is in line with OB3.0 & W3C standards. 

Credentials can still have an expiry date entered when they are created and will continue to automatically expire in accordance with that date. The ability to manually revoke a credential remains fully intact, so an administrator will be able to revoke a credential at any time for any reason.

Upcoming: Pathways and Open RSDs - The future of credentialing

Learning Vault's upcoming feature, Pathways, revolutionises the credentialing landscape by allowing organisations to design recipient journeys composed of interconnected credentials. Pathways will enhance learning experiences, improve retention rates, and automatically issue final certificates upon completion.

The addition of Open Rich Skill Descriptors (RSDs) will further elevate credentials, allowing creators to integrate standardised skills descriptions into credentials. The current "tags" section will be replaced by a "skills" section that will search for Open RSDs and allow the credential creator to select the Open RSD association of their choice. This machine-readable feature enhances metadata and aligns credentials with industry skill standards. 

Learning Vault's latest technological release is a significant step in our continued revolution of the digital credentialing landscape, offering a secure, adaptable, and accessible solution for individuals and organisations in credential management.

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