New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Crowdlearning, Applying Social Collaboration in Higher Education

Roberto Llorente, Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain)

Maria Morant, Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain)

Fernando J. Garrigos-Simon, Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain)


The introduction of crowdsourcing techniques in Higher Education studies finds application in two key aspects that can dramatically improve the students’ performance: (i) Crowdsourced knowledge building and (ii) Crowdsourced Grant schemes or external crowdfunding.

In first place, using crowdsourcing learning (also known as “crowdlearning” [1]) a group of students (following Bologna Higher Education University curricula) work together in self-proposed collaborative projects coordinated by the lecturing staff. In this way, each student proposes to bring different skills to the main project, which is effectively crowdsourced, in order to solve a proposed task.

And in second place, external crowdfunding can be applied to the students’ fees so the students obtaining high ranks or showing excellent performance can easily propose to crowdsource their studies. Rising college tuitions raises the financial pressure on families, meanwhile professors repeat tasks like activities and problem creation and grading across campuses [2].

These two application examples require University-wide crowdsourcing tools and platforms (web-based, by example). This paper proposes different possibilities available nowadays targeting to introduce crowdsourcing to Engineering studies in Higher Education institutions. In particular, the crowdsourcing experiences implemented at the Universitat Politècnica de Valencia are presented and discussed. For example, using open educational resources (OERs) offers higher quality education at lower cost [2]. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are supported by crowdsourcing [3], breaking the maximum size of a classroom and providing high-quality contents to a wide audience. With the centralized design of MOOCs, the students can access to more resources per course and with higher-quality compared with traditional courses. Previous studies suggest that well-designed MOOCs can lead to high-quality students’ learning and better satisfaction levels [4]. Also, a first approach to crowdtuition funding has been developed in 2012 in the Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, Spain, where offered the students the possibility of a student loan for completing their Higher Education studies.

[1] N. Padhariya, K. Raichura, “Crowdlearning: An incentive-based learning platform for crowd”, 7th International Conference on Contemporary Computing (IC3), pp. 44-49, 2014.

[2] P. Mitros, and F. Sun, “Creating Educational Resources at Scale”, IEEE 14th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT2014), pp. 16-18, 2014.

[3] C.E. Barbosa, V.J. Epelbaum, M. Antelio, J. Oliveira, J. Moreira de Souza, “Crowdsourcing Environments in E-Learning Scenario: A Classification Based on Educational and Collaboration Criteria”, IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC2013), pp. 687-692, 2013.

[4] T. Lewin, “Colleges adapt online courses to ease burden”, New York Times, April 2013.

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