Hack education : crowdsourcing the future of education in New Zealand

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Parsons, David
Lynch, J.
Han, Binglan
Thorn, R.
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New Zealand
research methodology
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Parsons, D., Lynch, J., Han, B., & Thorn, R. (2017, December). Hack Education: Crowdsourcing the future of education in New Zealand. In S. Nash and L.L.M. Patston (Eds.), Spaces and Pedagogies: New Zealand Tertiary Learning and Teaching Conference 2017 Proceedings ((pp. 57-66). Unitec ePress.
Crowdsourcing is a twenty-first century phenomenon that relies on Web 2.0 technologies to enable the public to contribute to data gathering by organisations. It offers new ways of researching emerging topics that leverage the wisdom of crowds. Crowdsourcing originally developed as a way of identifying one or more ‘winning’ solutions from a crowd of contributors and tended to be product focused. Over time, however, a variety of definitions of crowdsourcing has evolved, differing in terms of the specific types of crowd, initiator and process. In this article, we explore the use of crowdsourcing as a research methodology, which involves outsourcing research tasks to large groups of self-selected people, both lay and expert. Unlike traditional surveys, crowdsourcing allows for a more iterative, idea-generating process, which can be more effective than other methods in future-focused research. We illustrate this approach using a case study – a project called Hack Education that was used to gather ideas about the future of education in New Zealand. This project used crowdsourcing both to gather and to analyse data. Our case study reveals that crowdsourcing can provide different perspectives and other ways of analysing the same domain of interest. In particular, our data suggests that the crowd is able to give a somewhat broader, overarching set of ideas than is available from other channels. As such, crowdsourcing may provide a useful complement to more traditional research methods.
Unitec ePress
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Hack education: Crowdsourcing the future of education in New Zealand by David Parsons, Jonathan Lynch, Binglan Han and Rochelle Thorn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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