Crowdsourced Learning Enables Communities to Grow

The word ‘Crowdsourcing’ was coined in 2005, a portmanteau of the crowd, and outsourcing is a process of collating services and solutions from an online community. One good example is Wikipedia, where we post information, and people across the globe can add their inputs or comments.

‘Learning anywhere, anytime’ is the need of the hour when everyone focuses on continual learning. Opportunities to get information are immense, and therefore taking advantage of ‘Crowdsourcing’ as one of the methods of learning proves advantageous in today’s times. Here, learners come together to achieve a common task and learn from each other, which benefits mutually.

Some aspects that need to make Crowdsourced Learning successful are:

  1. Transparency and Openness: Learning in a cohort is based on trust and respect for each other. People need to be authentic in what they communicate at the same time, be open to other’s points of view. Being sceptical will not help in visualizing other’s points of view or seeing from another lens.
  1. Ideas, Design, and Preparation – It is important to think and prepare well before adding new ideas. Giving feedback is excellent, but it becomes more effective when people understand concepts well. Critiquing also helps in learning and improving one’s skills. It is important to use a common language to communicate unfamiliar topics or skills. This way, people who are engaged and interacting can understand concepts well.
  2. Simplicity in communication – An open network of communication requires simplicity in delivering thoughts and ideas. It is important to be specific as well as provide details as we are unaware of the audience and their familiarity with the topic being discussed — effective communication when crowdsourcing requires a balance of both specifics and details.
  3. Incremental Learning – Crowdsourcing is a progressive way to learn. Learners need to provide references and links wherever appropriate to understand facts and points of reference. As people who are engaging in the discussions increase, the discussions become more meaningful, people become more familiar and experienced. Feedback provided becomes more relevant.
  4. Enriched Community – Learning from sharing ideas, thoughts, experiences, and observations enrich each person with abundant knowledge. It becomes community-based learning, which provides opportunities to learn from each other.

Collaboration is the key to crowdsourced learning. It helps communities to grow and perform better.

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