Special Issue "AI and Blockchain as New Trigger in the Education Arena"

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Maria José Sousa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Political Science and Public Policies, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), 1649-026 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: public policy; innovation; higher education; intellectual capital
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Sónia P. Gonçalves
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas, Universidade de Lisboa, Centro de Administração e Políticas Públicas
Interests: human resource management; occupational health psychology; organisational environments; high education pedagogy
Dr. Francesca Dal Mas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Lincoln International Business School, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK
Interests: intellectual capital; knowledge management; strategy; new technologies; healthcare
Dr. Davide Calandra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Management, University of Turin, Italy
Interests: blockchain; accounting; data quality; healthcare

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain technology application to education has brought forth a new world of possibilities for all the actors in this sector. In this context, this Special Issue aims to discuss new research and trends on all dimensions of AI and Blockchain applied to education.

This Special Issue will provide a global forum for the investigation and reporting of diverse issues that affect the application of AI and Blockchain to education: innovations in the learning processes, new avenues for education managers, and new learning contexts.

Original research contributions are solicited, and authors are invited to contribute with research papers, case studies, and demonstrations that present original scientific results—specifically, case studies about blockchain applications to education, empirical studies in education regarding the use of blockchain technologies, new educational management systems, new evaluation techniques and tools, and AI and blockchain learning best practices.

Dr. Maria José Sousa
Dr. Sónia P. Gonçalves
Dr. Francesca dal Mas
Dr. Davide Calandra
Guest Editors


Buckingham Shum, S.J.; Luckin, R. Learning analytics and AI: Politics, pedagogy and practices. British J. Educat. Tech. 2019, 50, 2785–2793.
Chen, G.; Xu, B.; Lu, M.; Chen, N.-S. Exploring blockchain technology and its potential applications for Education. Smart Learn. Environ. 2018, 1, 1. doi:10.118640561-017-0050-x
Collins, R. Blockchain: A new architecture for digital content. EContent (Wilton, Conn.), 2016, 8(39), 22–23.
Greenspan, G. Ending the bitcoin vs. blockchain debate - Is there any value in a blockchain without a cryptocurrency? MultiChain blog. 2015. Available online at: https:// www.multichain.com/blog/2015/07/bitcoin-vs-blockchain-debate/Kosba, A.; Miller, A.; Shi, E.; Wen, Z.; Papamanthou, C. Hawk: The blockchain model of cryptography and privacy-preserving smart contracts. Secur. Priv. 2016, 839-858.
Ma, W.; Adesope, O.O.; Nesbit, J.C.; Liu, Q. Intelligent tutoring systems and learning outcomes: A meta-analysis. J. Educat. Psych. 2014, 106,901–918
Machado, A.; Sousa, M.J.; Pereira, F. Applications of blockchain technology to education policy. Wseas Trans. Inf. Sci. Appl., 2019, (16), 157-163.
Neilson, D.; Hara, M. I. Bitcoin forensics: A tutorial. global security, safety and sustainability - the security challenges of the connected world. Springer International. 2016.
Sharples, M.; Domingue, J. The blockchain and kudos: a distributed system for educational record, reputation, and reward. Open Res. Online, 2016, 40-46.
Sousa, MJ; Machado, A. Blockchain technology reshaping education: contributions for policy in blockchain technology applications in education. IGI-Global. 2020.
Xianmin, Y.; Xin L.; Huanqing, W.; Keyun, Z. Application model and realistic challenge of blockchain technology in education. Mod. Distance Educ. Res. 2017, (2), 34-45.
Yifu, J. Blockchain + education demand analysis and technical framework. China. Educ. Tech. 2017, 368, 62–69.
Yuan, Y.; Fei-Yue, W. Blockchain: the state of the art and future trends. Acta Autom. Sin. 2016, 42(4), 481–494.
Zheng, Z.; Xie, S.; Dai, H.; Chen, X.; Wang, H. An overview of blockchain technology: architecture, consensus, and future trends. IEEE 6th Int. Congr. Big Data, BigData Congr., 2017, 557–564. doi: 10.1109/BigDataCongress.2017.85

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • AI in education
  • Blockchain in education
  • Public policy for AI and Blockchain uses in education
  • AI and Blockchain impacts in educational actors
  • Blockchain use in educational management systems
  • AI and Blockchain use as a new learning methodology
  • Blockchain trends in education
  • AI trends in education

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Blockchain System in the Higher Education
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2021, 11(1), 276-293; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11010021 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1340
Blockchain has emerged as an important concept at the interface of ICT and higher education. It is a system in which a record of transactions is maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network. Hence, it allows the creation of [...] Read more.
Blockchain has emerged as an important concept at the interface of ICT and higher education. It is a system in which a record of transactions is maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network. Hence, it allows the creation of a decentralized environment, where data are not under the control of any third-party organization. This study presents a Systematic Bibliometric Literature Review (LRSB in further text) of research on blockchain applications in the higher education field. The review integrated 37 articles presenting up-to-date knowledge on current implications pertaining to the use of blockchain technology for improving higher education processes. The LRSB findings indicate that blockchain is being used to build up new interventions to improve the prevailing ways of sharing, delivering and securing knowledge data and personal student records. The application of blockchain technology is carrying on a conceptual progress in the higher education sector where it has added substantial value by ameliorated efficiency, effectiveness, privacy control, technological improvement and security of data management mechanisms. Challenges posed by current literature and further research directions are suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue AI and Blockchain as New Trigger in the Education Arena)
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Blockchain and Higher Education Diplomas
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2021, 11(1), 154-167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11010013 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1170
Due to added mobility and the increase in international students worldwide, as well as the current problem regarding the counterfeiting of diplomas and the selling of fraudulent certificates, we propose a technological solution. Namely, to ally blockchain technology to higher education certificates and [...] Read more.
Due to added mobility and the increase in international students worldwide, as well as the current problem regarding the counterfeiting of diplomas and the selling of fraudulent certificates, we propose a technological solution. Namely, to ally blockchain technology to higher education certificates and diplomas, to make the process of checking for academic qualifications more facilitated and transparent. Employers of graduates, as well as higher education institutions which evaluate course applicants, would benefit. Perhaps equally as important, students applying for international degree programs would have their lives simplified. There is an increased pressure to ensure the legitimacy and authenticity of certifications and diplomas—and preferably without the current “hassle” of getting diplomas recognized by official entities. New technological advances, with the development of blockchain and smart contracts, with their characteristics of immutability, decentralization, security, traceability, and consensus, may be considered an excellent match to implement a robust and reliable anti-fraud solution to issue digital diplomas. Radical innovations, such as linking blockchain and higher education diplomas, involve significant change and novelty. Linking blockchain and higher education diplomas could potentially positively impact and benefit millions of people worldwide, especially the younger generations. This study involved a literature review and the searching of the Scopus database (refereed publications) for the following concepts: blockchain and diploma. Existing literature is recent, with most articles (25) published between 2019 and 2020, with 4 in 2018 and only 1 in 2017. This was aligned with our expectations since the development of blockchain utilization outside financial and crypto-assets industries is recent, and it is known as “Blockchain 3.0”. We can additionally affirm that the topic is attracting attention and efforts from researchers worldwide and that some higher education institutions have already implemented ad hoc solutions. As it is, the sector lacks a unified response to the problem of automatic and reliable higher education diploma certification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue AI and Blockchain as New Trigger in the Education Arena)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: The use of Blockchain technology in academic voting: A case study at the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar.
Authors: Célio Gonçalo Marques and António Manso
Affiliation: Instituto Politécnico de Tomar
Abstract: Blockchain technology is an innovative technology that allows the safe storage of facts on a distributed computer network. Its greatest attribute is the immutability of the facts and the security that this brings to those who need them. In this paper, we introduce the architecture, implementation and testing of a blockchain-based voting system that allows users to make choices through a smart contract. The contract allows each user to vote only once, allows anonymous and identified votes and the system guarantees the immutability of the choice. The system was developed with the collaboration of undergraduate students in computer engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar and was tested in several academic election scenarios, either with anonymous voting or when voter identifications is required.


Title: Infusing Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Powers: Knowledge Representation on Innovations in Learning Process and Educational Policies
Authors: Ramesh Sharma; Andreia de Bem Machado; Fernanda Santos Pereira; Isabel Brito
Affiliation: 1. Ambedkar University Delhi, India 2. Uniasselvi Favim, Brazil 3. IP Beja, Portugal
Abstract: Innovation permeates all areas of society, among them is education, which is an important sector as it constantly generates large amounts of information. Managing this information, and ensuring its storage with security, availability, and immutability, is a relevant challenge. Considering this context, many technological solutions have emerged greatly in the 4th industrial revolution era, including artificial intelligence and Blockchain-based applications. The use of computer-oriented Blockchain in education can guarantee security and reliability through data decentralization. Governments and organisations have put in place policies on the adoption of blockchain and AI applications. The objective of this research will be to critically examine the educational policies and the use of innovations in learning processes for the applicability of Blockchain infused with artificial intelligence. For that, a systematic and integrative review will be carried out in the scopus database, in order to answer the following questions: 1) what is AI and Blockchain? 2) what are educational innovation policies exhibiting adopting of AI and BC? 3) How can innovation be applied in learning processes? and finally, 4) What are the educational policies with the use of innovations in the learning processes for the applicability of Blockchain? The results converge public policies related to blockchain and technological innovation in the Teaching-Learning process with significant implications for the operation and understanding of open innovation systems in a globalized world.

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