PILL: A Plastic and Pandemic Educational Protocol for University

Team Member Names:

  • Shirley Goose
  • Zilai Wang


The etymology of “university” derives from the Latin word “$Universitas$”, which originally did not solely refer to a place of learning but was a term used to describe a whole community or society—a place where a variety of ideas and disciplines could flourish together. This connection between “university,” “universe,” and “universal” highlights the inherent concept of universality in the institution—a comprehensive system encompassing diverse knowledge and ideas.

The university as a protocol, should be a place where student are cultivated and inspired. However, we noticed that the current university system exists the following problems.

  1. Passivity of Students
    Similar to a protocol designer, the university sets the rules and standards. However, students as users of this protocol, often find themselves following a predefined path without much room for deviation or input. This can lead to a sense of passivity where students are recipients rather than active participants in their educational journey.
  2. Decreasing Satisfaction and Credibility
    In recent years, more and more students start to express their dissatisfaction with the outcomes of their university experience (e.g. job prospects, personal fulfillment, the applicability of learned knowledge). This disillusionment can be seen as a failure of the protocol to meet its users’ needs effectively.
  3. Lack of Effective Exchange Platforms
    Universities often lack sufficient open platforms for free exchange of ideas. Traditional lecture-based teaching can stifle discussion and interdisciplinary collaboration. Existing platforms like online forums or learning management systems (LMS) may not be effectively engaging. A more interactive platform that help facilitate better communication and idea exchange among students and faculty is urgently needed.
  4. Assessment and Evaluation
    Traditional assessment methods (e.g., exams and graded assignments) often do not accurately measure student learning and capabilities, similar to a protocol that does not effectively transmit data. A brand-new multi-dimensional and comprehensive evaluation system that provides a more accurate and holistic view of student achievement is needed.

Thus, a better university protocol through which students can be fully developed is urgently in need. We hope that by revolutionizing the protocol of universities, a more fair university with decentralized students will emerge. In the heart of student decentralization lies the essence of freedom—the freedom of individuality, of diverse internal values, and of multiple pathways leading into various sectors of society. This notion of decentralization embodies more than just the scattering of destinations. The modifier plastic and pandemic that we used in the title also serves this goal, helping promote the core principle of personal autonomy and the flourishing of diverse perspectives within the educational landscape.

This same spirit of freedom is also foundational to the Web3 world. The core value of this new digital realm is to provide a decentralized framework where individual autonomy and privacy are prioritized, mirroring the aspirations of a truly liberal educational model. Integrating Web3 technologies into the university protocol to bring an academic environment where students are not just passive recipients of predetermined knowledge, but active participants in a dynamic educational network, is what we must do in the future.

Expected Deliverables

Goal Present, spread, and promote the idea of “A Plastic and Pandemic Educational Protocol for University”.

  • A fiction telling the “Utopian” university full of decentralized students.
  • A demo of the desired decentralized platform.
  • A word cloud showing the comments about university from university tree hole.
  • Illustration about core concepts and foresights.