Duplication in Degreed

This article is on a weakness I noticed with Degreed, an organization and service which evaluates education from nontraditional sources.

Duplication of credit for a particular material is a problem in Degreed. For example, the way I encountered this error was through Degreed’s integration with Khan Academy. I have an account with Khan Academy which I very much enjoy using and I linked it to my Degreed account. The advantage to this is that when I receive education through Khan Academy I receive corrosponding credit through Degreed.

However I ran into an issue with video education credit. I watched a video on Khan Academy. On Khan you can click the video to take you to the same video on Youtube. I went to the Youtube link for a video on microeconomics because I enjoyed the Khan video and wanted to add it to a Youtube playlist of mine. On a less related note I will be creating a video playlist page here on the website soon which links to my Youtube playlists.

Khan Academy
Khan Academy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Without thinking I also went to Degreed to tell it that I had watched an educational video on Youtube and I fed it the web link. Later, upon checking my Degreed progress for the day, I noticed that I had been credited for the same video twice. To check this error I tried submitting the same web link again, but I did not receive credit another time. Then I tried to receive double credit for a Khan video I had watched by submitting its Youtube link and I was successfully double credited.

To summarize, Degreed safeguards against multiplication of the same web link but not of the underlying educational material. I could create a multitude of blog post which had unique URLs but the content of which was the same particular Youtube video or text and receive multiplied credit.

The duplication problem threatens the validity of Degreed’s point system. Degreed can and should modify its background software to catch such duplication, but that will take some time and money. In the meantime a twofold approach can be rapidly implemented with only very light cost. First, a disclaimer would notify profile and website viewers to the problem. Degreed’s point system works by creating a user profile and displaying a score which is supposed to represent the profile owner’s level of education. That profile can be shared to be viewed by others. The points are based on a collection of educational resources including articles, books, videos and others which the user submits as having been learned from. The second step to temporarily reduce the possible duplication impact is to make this collection of resources more accessible. The collection of resources is accessible in depth, but requires navigation of a series of cumbersome folders and such. A multiplied article or video may appear in different folders and other such issues may occur as well. A link next to the score or in some other easily noticed location which leads to a quick reference and sortable table would be useful. When I duplicated my materials they had the same name but were in different folders. The sortable quick reference table would solve this problem and could be easily scanned like an excel spreadsheet. An entry could then be clicked for the more in depth information which can be accessed through the folder system.


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