What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing refers to a set of methods that can be used to motivate a community to contribute ideas, information, or content that would otherwise remain undiscovered. Its rapidly growing appeal stems from its effectiveness in filling gaps that cannot be bridged by other means. One of the most well known examples of this is Wikipedia, where volunteers provide information and definitions for subject matter of their expertise. Crowdsourcing generates what is known as the explicit form of collective intelligence. Knowledge is constantly refined through the contributions of thousands of authors. Within the academy, crowdsourcing is often a way for researchers to draw on public knowledge to provide missing historical or other specific details related to communities or families, complete large-scale tasks, or solve inherently complex issues. For many tasks, institutions are finding that amateur scholars or even people whose lives simply were contemporary to the event, object, images, or other research focus being documented are remarkably effective in providing deep level detail around a topic or in documenting a large body of materials.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 8, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

- luannel luannel Feb 11, 2016Educators will have access to a vast information for free. Educators can share ideas and articles that could assist in solving problems, school issues and develop a knowledge product.
  • - ewallis ewallis Feb 28, 2016 Crowdsourcing projects provide the opportunity for students to engage in 'real' projects - ones that give the students the sense of participating in something important and valuable.
  • Using Mechanical Turk (https://www.mturk.com), a museum could quickly (and inexpensively) get all kinds of keywords and "folks" meta-data for images of the collection. This in turn could provide more relevant search results. - dallen dallen Feb 29, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

- luannel luannel Feb 11, 2016Some crowdsourcing sites support specific kinds of topics or activities. For example, there are sites for education sector such as AlumniChoose, Takeashine and nonprofits such as kickstarter, razoo, mobcaster etc.
  • - ewallis ewallis Feb 28, 2016 Wikipedia, although the most obvious example, is actually relatively inaccessible. Museums often need to rely on conducting specific edit-a-thons or hosting a Wikipedian in residence to participate. There are other sites that have a much lower barrier to participating, such as the many Zooniverse projects; Bowerbird, iNaturalist or Project Noah for photography based science projects; DigiVol or iDigBio for specimen label transcription; and various sites for tagging photos or transcribing handwritten text.
  • The sub-category of crowdsourcing called crowdfunding is a real way to get some projects funded at the museum. We've had several conversations with Jessica Hodin (Crowdfunding Manager) at Art Basel but just haven't picked the right project to crowdfund.- dallen dallen Feb 29, 2016

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on education and interpretation in museums?

- luannel luannel Feb 11, 2016Museums will develop compelling program contents and exhibitions that are more audience-centric.
  • - ewallis ewallis Feb 28, 2016 Lives of the First World War project by the Imperial War Museum was one example of using crowdsourced content to assist with the development of their collections and exhibitions. It was a major undertaking over several years. Link https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

- luannel luannel Feb 11, 2016 Brooklyn Museum curated exhibition in 2008 using crowdsourcing. Artists submitted their work relating to the exhibition's theme.

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