1. Introduction

Education today is an experience that spans multiple, traditional education segments and that is lifelong and lifewide. Digital tools have enabled students to curate personalized learning paths based on their individual interests and needs, earning credentials, badges, and certifications from an increasingly diverse set of learning providers. These tools also have the potential to empower the most traditionally disadvantaged of students by giving them ownership of these achievements and the ability to display these as they pursue their goals in a changing workforce.

Hyperledger’s extensibility is an enabling technology tool that can form one part of the foundation of educational transformation. As an anchor of a student-centered record, it can integrate, extend, and enhance, existing institutional applications, processes, and workflows.

1.1. Mission

The Education Architecture Group will explore and advise on issues related to integration with legacy application infrastructure of learning management systems (LMS), Student Information Systems (SIS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Integrated Library Systems (ILS), Instructional Apps, Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM), Human Capital Management (HCM), Cloud Computing models (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, Hybrid), and self-sovereign digital identity. In addition, this group will investigate the integration of data across the multiple institutional, informal, and workplace learning experiences in the student’s lifetime of learning, and whether these can be integrated into a comprehensive record of an individual’s knowledge, skills, and ability.

1.2. Goals

The goals of the EASIG shall be to:

Goals of the Hyperledger Education Architecture Special Interest Group are to:

  • Create open-source, shareable assets to reduce barriers to entry and adoption for education stakeholders
  • Explore and showcase key educational use cases of blockchain
  • Foster collaborations between academic institutions, policymakers, vendors, and other education stakeholders
  • Develop and promote the alignment of important interoperability standards in open APIs and protocols for education use cases, including from open standards bodies such as: IMS Global Learning Consortium, IEEE, W3C, PESC, etc.
  • Curate or develop professional development or technical assistance resources to support educational practitioners on approaches to applying blockchain technology across various educational use cases

In summary, this group is required because:

  • There is a growing interest in educational use cases for blockchains, but currently no hyperledger/blockchain-based community of interest (SIG) that focuses on assets for these stakeholders
  • There is an opportunity to capture and focus local, regional, and national Hyperledger and other blockchain initiatives at the intersection of education, employment, and workforce development
  • We can support educational institutions to make informed decisions on strategy and implementation of Hyperledger and other blockchain technologies
  • Promoting emerging standards are important to promote interoperability and cost savings across schools and systems, and to achieve long term policy goals
  • This group will foster an open ecosystem of educational providers, publishers, technology vendors, policymakers, and practitioners

2. Special Interest Group Title

The name of this Special Interest Group shall be the Hyperledger Education Architecture Special Interest Group. Additional appropriate name references shall be:

  • The Hyperledger Education Architecture Special Interest Group (external, formal)
  • The Hyperledger EASIG (external, informal)
  • EASIG (internal, informal)

3. Special Interest Group Scope

3.1. In Scope

The community will take initiative to specifically address:

  • Identify key use educational applications for Hyperledger and other blockchain technologies
  • Showcase case studies and success stories
  • Promote open interoperability standards
  • Explore and advise on key strategies for Hyperledger integration to critical campus applications
  • Promote open standards for distributed and digital credentialing

The EASIG may form subgroups or task forces to support, emphasize, or promote any of those items listed above.

3.2. Out Of Scope (optional)

The scope of the EASIG shall exclude:

  • Classroom technology
  • Pedagogy
  • Curriculum

4. Work Products

Work products of the EASIG include, but are not limited to:

  • Open-source software requirements 
  • Use cases
  • Case studies and success stories
  • Best practices
  • Interoperability and compliance assets 
  • Face-to-face events and meet-ups
  • Podcasts or other social media engagement
  • Creation of a Hyperledger Labs project if the group produces any code

5. Working in an Open Community

Hyperledger SIGs are open and global communities where anyone from anywhere can and should be able to participate, contribute, and access tools and information.  For example, this means that even with meetings that are held via teleconference, we have to involve those not on the calls who are online. Best practice in an open and global community is to keep in mind time zone differences of the group participants and make sure to include non-meeting participants in group discussions and decisions by active use of the mailing list. All SIGs must adhere to the Hyperledger Code of Conduct and Anti-Trust Policy (see below) during meetings:

Anti-Trust Policy

Linux Foundation meetings involve participation by industry competitors, and it is the intention of the Linux Foundation to conduct all of its activities in accordance with applicable antitrust and competition laws. It is therefore extremely important that attendees adhere to meeting agendas, and be aware of, and not participate in, any activities that are prohibited under applicable US state, federal or foreign antitrust and competition laws.

Examples of types of actions that are prohibited at Linux Foundation meetings and in connection with Linux Foundation activities are described in the Linux Foundation Antitrust Policy available at http://www.linuxfoundation.org/antitrust-policy. If you have questions about these matters, please contact your company counsel, or if you are a member of the Linux Foundation, feel free to contact Andrew Updegrove of the firm of Gesmer Updegrove LLP, which provides legal counsel to the Linux Foundation.

5.1. Transparency

Meeting details, meeting notes, and documentation shall be made publicly available. The following items shall be generated and made available to the community after each meeting:

  • Wiki
  • Mailing list
  • Rocket.Chat channel
  • Meeting recordings
  • Github repositories (optional)
  • Jira (optional)

6. Collaborations

The EASIG may collaborate with the Technical Steering Committee (TSC), Hyperledger leadership, and respective project maintainers.

A list of Hyperledger frameworks, Special Interest Groups, and other organizations the EASIG anticipates to work with includes:

  • Xxx
  • yyy

7. Membership

7.1. Eligibility for SIG membership

EASIG membership shall be free and open to members of the community who have an interest in issues as they relate to the SIG topic technologies in general, and blockchain technologies in specific. SIG membership is established by subscription to the mailing list.

All participation in the groups activities is voluntary. It is perfectly fine to listen in to a group and do nothing. Of course active contribution is our goal, but it is not a requirement for membership. 

Anyone can propose agenda items, activities, and work products. In work products, the only requirement is there's enough buy-in from community members to want to volunteer to complete the product.

7.2 Governance

Governance of the EASIG shall be managed through its membership in accordance with the guidelines and overriding jurisdiction of Hyperledger leadership.

Day-to-day management of the EASIG shall be conducted by elected officer(s). Any actions taken on this basis and having direct effect on EASIG membership shall be reported to membership in a timely manner through established channels of communications.

7.3 Leadership

EASIG leadership is comprised of the following office role(s):

  • Chair 
  • Vice-Chair (optional)

If more than one office role is available, an EASIG officer shall not hold more than one office role at any given time.

7.3a Eligibility

For consideration of an office of EASIG, an EASIG officer-in-consideration must be:

  • An active contributor within the EASIG community

7.3b Election

The first interim Chair of a SIG is nominated by the initial proposer of the SIG and s/he serves for approximately 90 days or up to the first 6 meetings as long as the SIG has active participation and contributors. All future Chairs will be selected through an election process where group members vote.

An EASIG officer shall be elected by membership into position through a simple majority vote, and with Hyperledger leadership approval.

When there are two or more candidates, officer election shall be determined through a plurality vote, and with Hyperledger leadership approval.

Candidate Nomination can happen in a few ways (to be decided by the community on which approach to employ):

  1. Candidates email the mailing list individually and provide a statement of candidacy indicating why s/he are a good candidate for chair.
  2. Candidates email the Hyperledger point of contact with their statement of candidacy. Once all are received, Hyperledger point of contact gathers all submissions and posts the names and candidate statements in the mailing list all together for the community to review.

  1. Election Process

8.1 Voting

All EASIG members shall have one vote. All membership votes shall be based on a simple majority, unless otherwise noted.

Voting can take place in a few ways, to be determined by the community:

  1. Community members submit votes to Hyperledger POC by email
  2. Use a tool 

The EASIG shall follow the direction of Hyperledger POC for the voting process. In the event of a tied vote, a ranking EASIG officer shall be granted a tie-breaking vote.

8.2 Early Elections

In the case where an existing Chair is not able to complete their term, an early election can be called. For instance, if a Chair has a change at their work that causes them to not have the time to devote to the SIG or if a Chair is no longer performing the responsibilities assigned to the role of the office, then a new Chair will need to be elected. At any time over the course of an EASIG officer’s tenure, EASIG member(s) may identify whether the Chair is fulfilling the responsibilities.

A new election process can be started by having a discussion on the group’s list or by communication by the Hyperledger POC. In that discussion, the Chair may announce they are stepping down.  

9. SIG Chair 

Currently, Feng Hou, Chief Digital Transformation Evangelist from Maryville University in St. Louis serves as the Interim Chair. 

9.1 Responsibilities

An EASIG Chair is responsible for the following items:

  • Facilitating the group and helping ensure that the mission statement and goals are observed and met
  • Scheduling and facilitating regular General Meetings open to all EASIG membership
  • Developing and distributing meeting agendas at least one business day before the scheduled meeting
  • Ensuring that all group members have the opportunity to participate in decisions and provide input even when not attending a meeting. SIG communities are global and a chair should make efforts to ensure all are included in the community’s activities. This can be done by ensuring meeting notes are shared after calls and any major decisions are shared on the mailing list.
  • Ensure recordings/minutes are taken during meetings which captures the discussion and includes a list of meeting participants, shared post meeting, and are added to the SIG wiki page
  • Manage the SIG wiki page
  • Generate Special Interest Group Quarterly Updates to present to Hyperledger POC in a timely manner and communicate regularly on any concerns or questions related to the SIG
  • Serving as a proxy and ambassador for EASIG membership (as appropriate)
  • Enforcing adherence to the Hyperledger Code of Conduct and communicating the Anti-Trust Policy

9.2 Term Length

An EASIG officer shall serve for a period of one year from the start of the SIG group (for the first chair) or the last election date. An EASIG officer may be elected into office for unlimited consecutive terms.

At such time a member is to be considered for the role of an EASIG officer, or a sitting EASIG officer is to be reconsidered for that role, an election process (as identified in the Election section) shall be commenced not less than four weeks in advance of the end of the current EASIG term.

9.3 Removing an existing Chair

There are a few cases in which an existing SIG chair can be removed:

  1. If a Chair stops participating in the group without announcing that they are stepping down, someone else may start the discussion about an early election and the Chair may or may not take part in that discussion.
  2. In the event that a Chair is no longer performing chair responsibilities (see section 9.1) the Hyperledger POC will intervene.

If this were to happen, this prompts an early election. 

Upon the determination that an EASIG officer is no longer performing the responsibilities assigned to the role of the office, EASIG member(s) may perform the following actions:

  1. Notify the EASIG officer in question, in writing, of all abdication(s) of responsibilities
  2. If the EASIG officer in question does not acknowledge, in writing and within five (5) days, the initial notice, EASIG member(s) initiating the notification shall contact, in writing, Hyperledger POC
  3. Hyperledger POC shall immediately (as practicable) attempt to contact, in writing, the EASIG officer in question
  4. If the EASIG officer in question does not acknowledge, in writing and within five (5) days, at the request of Hyperledger POC, EASIG member(s) initiating the notification shall begin a new election process.

10. Meetings & Communications

10.1 Cadence

Live meetings can be held weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly as determined by group members via teleconference. In addition, coordination and communication can also happen asynchronously online via the mailing list, chat, and wiki page as well.

10.2 Agenda

The ranking EASIG officer will send out an agenda and a call for agenda items in advance (at least 2 days) through both the mailing list and chat channels to ensure that live or online attendees can contribute and know what will be discussed in advance of every meeting.

10.3 Recordings/Minutes

Recordings/minutes for each live meeting should be kept and shared out to EASIG membership after the call.

10.4 Cancelling a Meeting

Meeting cancellations should be made at least 24 hours in advance of any meeting date.

All EASIG membership meetings are placed on the Hyperledger Community Calendar. To ensure that a cancelled meeting is removed from the calendar, the person leading the meeting shall send a meeting cancellation request to zoom@hyperledger.org.

Additionally, a meeting cancellation notification shall be made to EASIG membership through both the mailing list and chat channels.

11. Disbandment of SIG

Should the scope of the EASIG reach completion, or conversely, the traffic on the various discussion forums, and/or the teleconference activity drop to very low levels, then the ranking EASIG officer may ask Hyperledger POC to disband the Special Interest Group.

12. SIG Subgroups

Subgroups serve to direct membership efforts toward key areas of mutual or themed interest within the larger EASIG general membership.

Like the parent EASIG, subgroups are obligated to serve as a mechanism for productive and demonstrable work products under the guidance of a lead, who is responsible for transparently communicating subgroup status back to EASIG leadership.

12.1 Creation of Subgroup

Any member of the EASIG may recommend to EASIG leadership the desire to form a subgroup with the intent to serve a specific need or set of needs not already served through the parent EASIG or any existing EASIG subgroup.

Upon approval, that member(s) must identify a subgroup lead, and work with EASIG leadership to develop a subgroup charter.

12.2 Subgroup Charter

An EASIG subgroup charter can follow the same template as the SIG charter.

13. Amendments to This Charter

This charter may be altered by a consensus resolution passed at a meeting of EASIG members. All changes made to this charter shall receive final approval from Hyperledger POC.

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1 Comment

  1. We do need some clarifications re. role of the chair and vice chair, and if nomination is allowed since it is not currently listed in the SIG charter, and if so, what the process needs to be. Also, given that EASIG is an open community, I'd encourage anyone from the world who have joined to run for the leadership roles.