Re: Saying yes to making @context optional

Digital education, training, & achievement credentials have two primary and equivalent needs:

1. verifiability
2. understandability

Separating the semantics from the verifiability reduces the understandability and applicability of these credentials. 

The education landscape is enormous (in terms of context, culture, location, etc) and yet inherently connected, meaning that many individuals could have digital credentials from many institutions, platforms, employers, experiences that are applicable individually but more likely useful in some combination to any number of verifiers and reliant parties. 

There are many different education data models, and without contexts, it is impossible to know what is intended by a term from the perspective of an issuer and acceptance by the learner. The machine (or human) reading the data will make its own interpretation of whatever works for its system. The advantage of requiring contexts allows for the meaning of the credential to be verifiable at the time it is signed. Over the course of a person’s lifetime, cultures evolve, education evolves, and term definitions will change. By making context optional, there is absolutely no assurance to the credential subject that the payload will be interpreted in the future the way they understood it at the time it was issued and accepted by them. 


Kerri Lemoie, PhD
Director of Technology, Digital Credentials Consortium

> On Nov 28, 2022, at 11:03 PM, Christopher Allen <> wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 28, 2022 at 5:29 PM Kim Hamilton < <>> wrote:
> 3. Christopher's point about layer violation resonates strongly with me (and is probably a much more concise way to phrase my # 2)
> I slightly updated my layer violation thoughts and posted it as an issue:
> "Separation of Cryptographic Verification from Business Process (and Semantic) Validation #986" <>
> -- Christopher Allen 

Received on Tuesday, 29 November 2022 18:04:24 UTC