Call me a skeptic, but the idea of having random people from around the Web collaborating in the creation of e-learning content for accredited online degree programs seems absurd. I went to graduate school for years, read hundreds of books and thousands of articles, sat through countless hours in the classroom, participated in dozens of instructional design projects, created and taught several classes under the supervision of experienced professors, and worked with my classmates and people with real world experience solving actual problems in order to earn my Ph.D. and the right to be both a content area expert and an instructional design professional. And along the way, I learned one lesson which surpasses all the others: good instructional design requires a collaborative effort. So let’s explore my skepticism about the crowdsourcing phenomenon that is starting to creep into the public consciousness through efforts such as Designcrowd.com, and Crowdsourcing.org, and that will eventually overtake higher education.
What is Crowdsourcing?
Even ten years ago, the concept of crowdsourcing was completely alien to the average person. The basic concept behind crowdsourcing comes from a June 2006 article by Jeff Howe for WIRED.com in which he described the phenomenon as a new and innovative business plan borrowing from the Wiki model and outsourcing. In Howe’s idea, like-minded and qualified, though unaffiliated (self-employed) individuals would collaborate via the Internet to provide needed services for less than it costs to have a larger, established organization do it. Here is Howe describing the concept himself.
Via Ana Cristina Pratas