Interoperable Learner Record Wrapper

Eric Welton (Korsimoro)

Good hello again,

I wanted to pass along some work from the W3C CCG (Credential Community Group) - Education task force - the meeting today explored the following document:

and some context cut/pasted from the document is below -



-------- introductory content from the document


This draft specification is being developed in the public domain and will be offered for recognition as a standard by relevant standards bodies concerned with learner record interoperability. It is offered to leverage existing learner record standards, not replace them. It will be offered for adoption by various standards bodies. It will also inform a guide to interoperable learner records proposed by an active IEEE study group.

This document specifies a universal cross-standards container for interoperable learner records. 

The specification is intended to provide a future-proof and flexible approach to a collection of learner records, allowing for any kind of learner record from early learning through adult and employment learning experiences and competency recognition. It recognizes that different standards organizations may specify the standards needed to support these many kinds of records and across geographical boundaries. In some cases the standard or set of standards from one body will be sufficient to meet the needs of a particular use case. However, the authors anticipate the need for a universal cross-standards learner wallet able to support specialized standards. For example: 

  • Medbiquitous specializes in learner record standards for medical education, 

  • the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council focuses on postsecondary record standards, 

  • HR Open specializes in standards for workforce, 

  • W3C Verifiable Credential specifies credential assertions, 

  • IMS Global’s Comprehensive Learner Record and IMS Open Badges support various types of achievement records, 

  • the A4L SIF specification includes U.S. special education (Individual Education Plan [IEP]) and other K12 data types, 

  • the Common Education Data Standards includes data definitions for early learning childhood development through workforce, 

  • and  Credential Engine provide credential and  object description languages that span these vertical and horizontal segments,

  • Europass specifies interoperable documents to make skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in Europe,

  • China is implementing a dual credentialing system of Qualification Certificate and Degree Certificate  

The specification also recognizes starkly different kinds of data are needed for different uses of learner records, e.g. some learner records verify achievements to employers or potential employers, other learner records directly support learning processes for formative feedback and tutoring. As a result of that, and embedded practice at the vendor, local, state, and federal level,  any scalable solution must include the possibility of many different types of payloads. 

Design Principles


  • Keep it simple

  • Save problems for later- do not raise controversies

  • Support all standards in payload

  • Use existing standards 

  • We are starting with a JSON-LD wrapper designed to be as simple and as  close to the W3C Verifiable Credential design pattern as is possible and practical.  

Learner Wallet

  • Limit to functional specifications (the “what”) 

  • Do not prescribe specific technologies, architectures, protocols (the “how”)


  • Informed by W3C VC

  • Support all standards payloads

Design Goal Table




Eliminate the requirement for centralized authorities or single point failure in identifier management, including the registration of globally unique identifiers, public verification keys, service endpoints, and other metadata.


Give entities, both human and non-human, the power to directly control their digital identifiers without the need to rely on external authorities.


Enable entities to control the privacy of their information, including minimal, selective, and progressive disclosure of attributes or other data.


Enable sufficient security for relying parties to depend on the ILR’s verification and security model  for their required level of assurance.


Enable ILR subjects (learners) to provide cryptographic proof when interacting with other entities.


Make it possible for entities to discover ILRs for other entities to learn more about or interact with those entities.


Use interoperable standards so ILR infrastructure can make use of existing tools and software libraries designed for interoperability.


Be system and network-independent and enable entities to use their ILR Metadata with any system that supports ILRs and Learner Wallets.


Favor a reduced set of simple features to make the technology easier to understand, implement, and deploy.


Where possible, enable extensibility provided it does not greatly hinder interoperability, portability, or simplicity.

Informed by W3C Verifiable Credentials Data Model 1.0

The specification is informed by the work of the W3C Verifiable Credentials Community Group and some key metadata concepts used in the W3C Verifiable Credentials Data Model 1.0 ( However, the intent of this specification is a solution applicable to other kinds of learner records beyond credentials. Therefore this specification delegates learner record payload to applicable standards and may add some elements not included in the W3C VC specification.  It is our intent to expand the VC specification in appropriate ways and to make no breaking changes if possible. Any changes we make to this foundational template will be documented so it can be understood by developers and implementers.

Applicable W3C Verifiable Credential Metadata Concepts

  • Identifiers

  • Issuer

  • Credential Subject

  • Issuance Date

  • Expiration

  • Status

  • Types

  • Contexts

T3 Innovation Network

This document was drafted in coordination with the cross-standards mapping project of the T3 Innovation Network. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce led initiative is exploring the emerging technologies and standards in the talent marketplace to create more equitable and effective learning and career pathways. It is informed particularly by the work of projects 3 and 10 in the Network’s phase II. It is informed by the document produced by project 10: Applying Self-Sovereign Identity Principles to Interoperable Learning Records: Principles, Challenges, and Community Guidance.

Interoperable Learner Record Wrapper 

This proposed specification leverages a thin wrapper with a minimal set of metadata to support different kinds of learner record payloads defined by existing and future data standards. 

Self-Sovereign Learner Wallet

This proposed specification supports a learner wallet by which a person may be able to manage their own learner records as a set, regardless of source, purpose and standard encoding format. This self-sovereign learner wallet supports portability, privacy rights and agency of a person to curate some aspects of digital identity as it relates to their learner records.


This specification is being developed with input from those participating in multiple standards bodies and working groups. It is intended to become an open standard adopted for use with and within the several standards bodies. 

This approach supports the U.S. Government's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-119 which establishes policies on Federal use and development of voluntary

consensus standards and on conformity assessment activities.

Standards body participants who will give input on this document:

  • Access for Learning Community - Larry Fruth

  • Common Education Data Standards - Jim Goodell

  • Dublin Core Metadata Initiative / LRMI - Phil Barker (also advising on metadata and

  • HR Open Standards Consortium - Kim Bartkus

  • IMS Global - Andy Miller

  • Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council - Michael Sessa

  • Credential Engine - Stuart Sutton

Technical workgroup participants and reviewers:

  • Avron Barr

  • Scott Hinkelman

  • John Lovell

  • Simone Ravaioli

Technical Advisors:

  • Kim Hamilton-Duffy

  • Jim Kelly


  • Jim Goodell

  • Joe Andrieu

  • Alex Jackl

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