Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Crowd-sourced Learning Content: Opportunities and Challenges – (Part 2)

Last week, Vikas Joshi shared his thoughts on opportunities inherent in crowdsourced learning content. This week we talk to Maheshkumar Kharade, a technology expert, to follow up on the previous post. 
Q. How are tracking systems keeping pace with the opportunities inherent in crowdsourced learning content?
[Maheshkumar] Due to its multidimensional nature, crowdsourcing apparently brings in multiple challenges and opportunities for tracking systems, content creation and content delivery platforms.
I think development of TinCan API specification is on the lines of supporting crowdsourcing requirements. Its activity based tracking model enables LRS (Learning Record Store) to record almost any user action.
Recent advancements and usage spike in MOOC paradigm in education is another major step in creation of online platforms for crowdsourced learning content. Though these steps have helped gain some momentum, it’s not yet enough.
Q. What needs to be done?
[Maheshkumar] We are getting to the goal in pieces like enriched tracking specifications, delivery mechanism, etc. In my opinion, content creation should be at the center stage of crowdsourcing, other challenges would revolve around it. The key is to provide an ability to create semantically structured content through proper community collaboration. It will enable maximum reuse and re-purposing. Social networking has to be given equal consideration.
Video content adds lots of value to learning experience, but we have to look for ways to enrich it further using crowd sourcing. Imagine what can be done if we have both TinCan API and MOOC together on a single platform.  This combination will enhance current MOOC based learning experience i.e. set of sequential video lectures to next level by means of collaborated learning. Currently, multiple dimensions of crowdsourcing are different stand alone systems; we need better interoperability.
Q. How can the industry encourage platform vendors to support a common structure?
[Maheshkumar] The focus right now is on an individual aspect of crowdsourcing which is tracking systems; it needs to be widened. Also, solving problems in proprietary ways will limit overall outcome, so equal importance should be given to developing a standards based approach while addressing any aspect of crowdsourcing. Interoperability amongst multiple systems holds the key to successful crowdsourced learning.

We would love to hear from our readers in the e-learning industry if they are familiar with any work in this direction.