Crowdsourcing refers to a set of methods that can be used to motivate a community to contribute ideas, information, or content that would otherwise remain undiscovered. Its rapidly growing appeal stems from its effectiveness in filling gaps that cannot be bridged by other means. One of the most well known examples of this is Wikipedia, where volunteers provide information and definitions for subject matter of their expertise. Crowdsourcing generates what is known as the explicit form of collective intelligence. Knowledge is constantly refined through the contributions of thousands of authors. Within the academy, crowdsourcing is often a way for researchers to draw on public knowledge to provide missing historical or other specific details related to communities or families, complete large-scale tasks, or solve inherently complex issues. For many tasks, institutions are finding that amateur scholars or even people whose lives simply were contemporary to the event, object, images, or other research focus being documented are remarkably effective in providing deep level detail around a topic or in documenting a large body of materials.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Crowdsourcing sometimes has a negative connotation as it can also be associate with collective misinformation. Perhaps collective solution generation is really more what we are looking for here? The well known and quoted example is FoldIt http://fold.it/portal/ , or the Games for Change approach
    http://www.gamesforchange.org/- geoffrey.crisp geoffrey.crisp Feb 27, 2015
  • - sherman.young sherman.young Feb 28, 2015Does depend on the definition of crowd!! The idea of breaking down the institutional silos (between fellow staff members, and between staff and students) has great potential though. Small crowd collaborations in textbooks (https://mediatexthack.wordpress.com/about/) or even meaningful engagement in the wikipedia edit-war debates would be extremely useful
  • Research funding is limited.... crowd sourcing is an alternative. If it is "sexy" or engaging enough people will fund it. Deakin has been playing in this space for a while with some success - ktairi ktairi Mar 1, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?


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