Information Systems Education Journal


V18 N6 Pages 57-85

Dec 2020

Teaching Applications and Implications of Blockchain via Project-Based Learning: A Case Study

Kevin Mentzer
Bryant University
Smithfield, RI USA

Mark Frydenberg
Bentley University
Waltham, MA USA

David Yates
Bentley University
Waltham, MA USA

Abstract: This paper presents student projects analyzing or using blockchain technologies, created by students enrolled in courses dedicated to teaching blockchain, at two different universities during the 2018-19 academic year. Students explored perceptions related to storing private healthcare information on a blockchain, managing the security of Internet of Things devices, maintaining public governmental records, and creating smart contracts. The course designs, which were centered around project-based learning, include self-regulated learning and peer feedback as ways to improve student learning. Students either wrote a research paper or worked in teams on a programming project to build and deploy a blockchain-based application using Solidity, a contract-oriented programming language for writing smart contracts on various blockchain platforms. For each student paper, this case study describes research methods and outcomes, how students worked together or made use of peer feedback to improve upon drafts of research questions and abstracts. For each development project in Solidity, this study presents the issue at hand along with interview results that guided the implementation. Teams shared lessons learned with other teams through a weekly status report to the whole class. While available support for the Solidity teams was not ideal, students learned to use available online resources for creating and testing smart contracts. Our findings suggest that a project-based learning approach is an effective way for students to expand and develop their knowledge of emerging technologies, like blockchain, and apply it in a variety of industries.

Download this article: ISEDJ - V18 N6 Page 57.pdf

Recommended Citation: Mentzer, K., Frydenberg, M., Yates, D., (2020). Teaching Applications and Implications of Blockchain via Project-Based Learning: A Case Study. Information Systems Education Journal18(6) pp 57-85. ISSN : ISSN: 1545-679X. A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of EDSIGCON 2019