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Digital Credentials

“Digital Credentials” are a type of digital representation of an earned academic achievement such as a degree, diploma, certificate, badge or micro-credential. 


“Micro-Credentials” are rapid training programs that help people retrain and upgrade their skills to find new employment and access additional educational opportunities. Offered by colleges, universities, Indigenous Institutes and industry, micro-credentials are short in duration, can often be completed online, and are often designed for the specific needs of employers and jobs. They can also be taken in isolation or packaged together alongside degrees, diplomas, and certificates. 

Digital Micro-Credentials

“Digital Micro-Credentials” are electronic certificates that prove the completion of a short-duration micro-credential focused on providing granular, employment-related skills training. 

Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI)

“Self-Sovereign Identity” (SSI) is an approach to digital identification that puts control of digital credentials in a person’s own hands. It establishes trust between a learner and who they are sharing their details with, and guarantees the authenticity of the data and attestations, without the third party having to store any data. Key to this is the notion that a verifier’s trust in a credential issued is transferred to the credential holder – that is, to the person who earned the credential. 

Verifiable Credentials

“Verifiable Credential” means a digital credential in which the data within can be verified (e.g., through cryptographic verification). It refers to any tamper-evident (cryptographically-signed) set of information that an authority claims to be true about the subject of the credential, which in turn enables the individual or organization to convince others of these truths. 

Decentralized Identifier (DID)

Decentralized Identifier (DID) is a new type of digital identifier which is globally unique, highly available, and cryptographically verifiable. DIDs are currently being standardized at the W3C and, when deployed responsibly, can be extremely effective at preserving user privacy, enhancing transparency and consent, enabling data portability and enforcing user control. 

Webinar Resources

Hosted by experts at ARUCC MyCreds™, MATTR and Digitary, these webinars were one-hour foundational sessions offered once a month.

View information from past webinars below.

Webinar 1 | Essentials of Decentralized Identity

September 21, 2022

In this webinar we covered the foundational topics to understanding and getting involved with decentralized identity (DIDs) and Verifiable Credentials, in particular their use in an education ecosystem. We explored what a Decentralized Identifier (DID) is, along with a Verifiable Credential, and how these two components work together to ensure data integrity is maintained and verifiable across contexts. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • What are DIDs and Verifiable Credentials?
  • What are the roles and functions of a credential education ecosystem?


What are Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs)?

What are Verifiable Credentials (VCs)?

The Benefits of Decentralized Identity for your Organization

MATTR Labs has created a video demonstration to help explain self-sovereign identity and to provide insight into the process we’ve begun. Please note that this use case is a non-academic context, but the content is transferrable. 

Webinar 2 | Credential Ecosystem

October 19, 2022

In this webinar we examined how a trust framework along with the mechanics of credential interactions work together to support the broader credential ecosystem functions, and sharing of verifiable data in education. We’ll took a look at the various patterns that are utilized by Issuers, Holders and Verifiers to support the claiming, holding, presenting and verification of Verifiable Credentials. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Trust frameworks and how verifiable credentials support the future of digital trust and verifiable data in education.
  • Mechanics of interactions – claiming, holding, presenting and verifying education credentials


VIDEO – Using Verifiable Credentials Across Different Domains

Download the MATTR Wallet App

Explore verifiable credentials using MATTR’s Kingdom of Kākāpō simulation.

Webinar 3 | Assurance and Privacy, Standards and Digital Trust

November 16, 2022

Confidence and Privacy are two critical aspects of sharing any data. In this seminar we examined how levels of assurance can be utilized and reflected in Verifiable Credential interactions to provide the confidence and trust each party in the credential ecosystem requires. We also covered the varying privacy-preserving features that can be applied to Verifiable Credentials.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Privacy preserving features of Verifiable Credentials (VCs) – Selective Disclosure, Revocation lists and how they protect learners
  • Assurance levels and features applicable to education credentials
  • Standards and community – key specifications and the approach
  • Digital Trust in Education – the value of VCs in the education ecosystem


Webinar 4 | Considering Standards for Micro-Credentials: The Way Forward

November 30, 2022

In this webinar we were joined by an international panel of thought leaders who shared their perspectives on micro-credential standards, the bridge between technology and quality assurance, and the opportunities for access and mobility enabled by new technologies. This webinar explored these dimensions to advance a broader conversation around how to situate micro-credentials in the higher education context.

Learning outcomes: 

What international efforts have occurred to advance standards development as these relate to micro-credentials? 

What is one Ontario college doing to contribute to advancing micro-credentials? 

What efforts are underway internationally to support portability and adoption of micro-credentials?  

What practices should higher education institutions consider when implementing micro-credentials? 

Webinar 5 | Open Standards for Micro-Credentials: Advancing Interoperability and Mobility

January 18, 2023

In this webinar, we learned how ARUCC MyCreds , powered by the Digitary by Parchment platform, is aligning national XML standards in Canada, beginning with the micro-credentialing use case. By leveraging existing PESC standards, ARUCC MyCreds™ will reinforce a collaborative consultation model and support evolution of the standards. In this webinar, we learned about current findings from research and engagement with our higher education community to identify practices and data models aimed at aligning approaches for specific use cases.  

Learning outcomes: 

Understanding of existing Digitary by Parchment functionality and expanded capabilities through Verifiable Credentials. 

Process and criteria used in defining a draft micro-credential standard. 

Plans for managing and communicating a registry of standards use across the country. 

Understanding of how institutions can participate and contribute to the development and evolution of data standards. 




7 Steps to Understanding Decentralized Identity
Exploring how you can use verifiable credentials