MOOCs and crowdsourcing: Massive courses and massive resources

John Prpić, James Melton, Araz Taeihagh, Terry Anderson, Dec 26, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This paper draws an interesting parallel between two types of massive phenomena: MOOCs, and crowdsourcing. The former are online courses designed to enable access to learning to large numbers of people at once, while the latter takes advantage of the contributions of many people to support a single objective, such as the creation of an online encyclopedia. "Both phenomena implement open calls to the public at large for participation, are solely IT-mediated phenomena, and form and draw upon IT-mediated crowds for their existence and operation." The most interesting bit is the division of technology types into episodic (the members of a particular crowd never interact with one another directly through the IT (eg. Google’s reCAPTCHA)) and collaborative. 

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