Higher Education LMS/VLE’s
Moodle: 78+ million users, 63k registered sites across 222 countries
Blackboard: 100 million users, 16,000 clients across 90 countries
MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses)
Coursera : 23 million registered users and 1700+ active courses
Open University (OU): 174,898 students, 73 million downloads
Canvas: 18 million users worldwide.
EdX: 14 million users
Future Learn: 3 million users
Khan Academy: 10 million users
Udemy: 30 million students
Udacity 4 million users
Linked In Learning/ Lynda.com: 580 million users
The above Online/Blended/Distance learning platforms are used by hundreds of millions of users every day and I believe Electroneum should consider exploring this area as a potential opportunity to disseminate ETN far and wide across an age group that’s best suited for early adoption of new tech.
As someone who’s spent a decade working at a university producing media and designing and developing online courses, it’s apparent now more than ever that universities in the UK need to be demonstrating that they’re adding value to the student experience. This is because the market is highly competitive and tuition fees in the UK are now £9,250 per year regardless of where you study.
This raises the question - Why would you study, let’s say, at the University of Portsmouth, when you could study at Oxford and Cambridge for the same price? Let’s put aside entry requirements and cost of living in certain cities for just a second.
So, if the the tuition fees cost the same the next question is likely to be, ‘What added value am I getting from studying here rather than there?’ This is why many universities are ramping up their marketing effort to drive recruitment. My university spent 1 million on rebranding last year and tens of millions investing in new buildings.
Some universities incentivise specific courses with the lure of iPads and Macbooks, however, these are ultimately sunk costs. I even saw a university offering £100 cash back as their best marketing effort, which is around 0.03% of the capital loan, without 20 + years of interest to pay. The majority of universities don’t incentive students at all.
Not only do universities fall short on incentivising as a recruitment tool but they also fall short on incentivising learning. You’d be surprised at the staggering number of students that pay £27,750 and are completely disengaged. Non attendance and drop-out rates can be very problematic for universities and it is generally students that come from lower socio-economic backgrounds or are students of ethic minority.
Stay with me, I’m getting to how Electroneum can be implemented.
When it comes to online learning, Moodle and other LMS platforms can enable completion tracking as students progress through their module. Another feature of completion tracking is that it can be used to reward ‘badges’ to motivate students - not unlike the badges rewarded on this forum but way less sophisticated. The only difference is that our main motivation is not to attain badges or status but to help curate a positive and helpful community committed to helping Electroneum grow, which is mutually beneficial to the company and ourselves.
I can confidently say that 18-21 year olds are not incentivised in the slightest by earning a ‘well done’ badge in Moodle, and this is where the opportunity lies! What if we replaced the somewhat patronising motivational badges in online learning platforms with ETN Badges of varying values?
Money is arguably a very powerful incentive and I believe students would be significantly more engaged in their learning if it earned them money. ‘Earn while you learn’ used to be a phrase to market apprenticeship programmes and part-time courses but I believe Electroneum could literally change the definition.
Every student is issued a unique student number, such as UP232174 which is stored in the Student Record System along with their course, modules, grades and personal info etc. The Student Record System feeds this data to Moodle for module enrolment and a whole host of other online services via Ldap Authentication. An Electroneum wallet addresses could be assigned to every student number and stored in the student record system and this is how…
When students register online at the start of the academic year there could be a section on the registration form that says ‘Would you like to opt in to the university’s Electroneum reward scheme?’. ‘ETN can be used as currency on campus. Download the app and Scan this QR code to participate’.
A university could have 25,000 students all Cloud Mining Electroneum to their central wallet, or multiple wallets per faculty/department. Like an MVNO, the University will benefit from the referrals along with the student.
Now, here’s where the bonus incentive comes in. Not only are the students cloud mining on behalf of the university, but the University can reward some of the ETN received back to the students by meeting certain criteria like attaining over 70% on assignments for example. This may not only help increase engagement but could also help to bring up the average grade attained across the board. A win-win all round.
Electroneum badges could also be rewarded for completing a whole host of tasks in Moodle, wether they’re formative multiple choice quizzes, assignments for summative assessments, engaging in forum discussions or even for watching a video or reading a document.
The interesting part of this is how a university might develop an ecosystem to keep the ETN in circulation. This could be achieved by accepting ETN as payment in campus cafeterias, vending machines and students union bars or even by accepting ETN as print credits. You’d be surprised how much students spend on printing each year. What about paying late fees on books loaned from the campus library? The reward scheme could even be linked to the attendance monitoring system which rewards students when they scan their student card before entering their lecture or seminar room.
An Electroneum reward scheme would undoubtedly encourage entrepreneurial students to figure out ways to earn more ETN. Once established the ecosystem has the potential to then spread organically from the campus out to other shops, clubs and bars in the city who might offer a reduced entrance fee or discounts on food/drinks etc. The KYC aspect of the app/Yoti collaboration could even mitigate the need for students to carry driving licenses or passports for ID to get into pubs and clubs.
Can you imagine the global coverage and recognition a university would receive for being the first in the world to roll out a crypto currency reward scheme? I don’t think a university could wish for a better PR opportunity. This would not only give additional credibility to Electroneum as a trusted brand in the education sector, but I believe it has the potential to start a wave of adoption across other universities across the world and expand to all online learning platforms. Higher Education is after-all a business first and foremost and one that is extremely competitive with a target demographic that is second to none as a catalyst for mass adoption.