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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Crowdsourcing in Education: Opportunities and Quality Matters

Kelvin Thompson (University of Central Florida, USA)
Additional Authors
John Okewole (Yaba College of Technology, Nigeria)
Apostolos Koutropoulos (University of Massachusets, USA)
Irene Knokh, Ms. (University of Michigan, USA)
Session Information
July 8, 2014 - 5:30pm
Blended Models and Course Design
Areas of Special Interest: 
Innovative Blends
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Best Practices
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Electronic Poster
Plaza Foyer
Session Duration: 
60 Minutes

21st Century education innovation and practices is beyond a person. It is a collective effort like crowdsourcing that produces the high impact which is sustainable

Extended Abstract

What is Crowdsourcing?
Simply defined, crowdsourcing represents the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call. This can take the form of peer-production (when the job is performed collaboratively), but is also often undertaken by sole individuals. The crucial prerequisite is the use of the open call format and the large network of potential laborers. (Howe 2006)

Brabham (2008) defined crowdsourcing as an online, distributed problem-solving and production model.

Crowdsourcing is a type of participative online activity in which an individual, an institution, a non-profit organization, or company proposes to a group of individuals of varying knowledge, heterogeneity, and number, via a flexible open call, the voluntary undertaking of a task. The undertaking of the task, of variable complexity and modularity, and in which the crowd should participate bringing their work, money, knowledge and/or experience, always entails mutual benefit. The user will receive the satisfaction of a given type of need, be it economic, social recognition, self-esteem, or the development of individual skills, while the crowdsourcer will obtain and utilize to their advantage that what the user has brought to the venture, whose form will depend on the type of activity undertaken (Enrique Estellés-Arolas and Fernando González Ladrón-de-Guevara 2010)

21st Century Paradigms in Education
There is a paradigm shift in education in 21st century (Okewole, Knokh and Adekunle 2013) which has necessitated a change in education in its entity. According to Tuomi and Miller (2011) education change to accommodate or reflect the changing dispensation. There are several education models unlike before i.e. online education, blended learning, MOOCs all coupled with the existing face to face model. The traditional textbook now has a full option in Open education resources (OERs) which are fast evolving and more updatable. In line with models and materials are methods of producing academic products. A text produced by a person may receive appeal but a collaborative effort contains more than one idea, thought and perhaps more qualitative. That is the spirit of crowdsourcing as it has been defined above.
As crowdsourcing has become a solution for institutions across industries, tapping into the power of the masses, confusingly education has yet to embrace this model (Teachthought 2014). Or to statistically say it, a minute portion of educators are embracing this idea. Why is the education industry delaying in taking the opportunities that Crowdsourcing offers?

- Teachers are looking for quality material
- Teachers are looking for vetted materials
- Teachers are looking for materials in line with their curriculum not just for their subjects
- Some teachers are just not into too generalized materials
- Non-changing attitudes of a lot of folks
- The policies have not changed
- It is a teacher-centric mode

How to Crowdsource in Education

What can be Crowdsourced?
Assessment of class
Evaluation of student work?

Benefits of Crowdsourcing
Collaborative Effort
Peer Learning
Up-to-date Information
More OERs
Faster time to classroom
Leveraging Standards
Cross-disciplinary participation

Howe, J. 2006 ‘Crowdsourcing: A Definition', Crowdsourcing: Tracking the Rise of the Amateur (weblog, 2 June), URL (accessed 25 February 2014): http://crowdsourcing.typepad.com/cs/2006/06/crowdsourcing_a.html

Brabham, Daren 2008, "Crowdsourcing as a Model for Problem Solving: An Introduction and Cases" (PDF), Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 14 (1): 75-90

Estellés-Arolas, Enrique; González-Ladrón-de-Guevara, Fernando 2012, "Towards an Integrated Crowdsourcing Definition" (PDF), Journal of Information Science 38 (2): 189-200

11 Underlying Principles Of Crowdsourcing In Education http://www.teachthought.com/technology/crowdsourced-curriculum-solutions...

Okewole, J. T., Knokh, I. and Adekunle, A. O. 2013 'Education Technology, Learning Paradigms and Systemic Change: Preparing Faculty for the Future of Education'. Paper presented at the Seventh Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF7), Abuja Nigeria

Tuomi, I and Miller, R. 2011 Learning and Education after the Industrial Age - A discussion paper for the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK project: Oivallus