Crowdsourcing in the College Classroom and Implications For HR

» Posted by Jeanne Meister  » Posted on 07.22.10

I recently read this excellent article on crowdsourcing which explores ways in which the tool is expanding in different fields. Here are five of the best examples they came up with:

  1. GrouperEye: This “survival of the fittest” project was started by and for college students looking for contract gigs. Businesses post a case on GrouperEye’s website and leave it open to students to solve. The company picks the best solution, and the student who came up with the idea is paid.
  2. “This Is Your Brain on the Internet” Course: In the fall of 2009, Duke University professor Cathy Davidson started a new class called “This Is Your Brain on the Internet.” It introduces students to crowdsourcing by letting them accept some of the responsibility of running the class, including grading and teaching.
  3. Crowdsourcing Help Desks: IT help desks are a necessary service on college campuses, as so many students depend on their computers and Internet access to complete their school work or even attend class online. At Indiana University at Bloomington, new IT help desks began implementing crowdsourcing to alleviate the cost and pressure of having to answer so many calls. Students and professors post their IT problems on an online forum, where other students and amateur IT experts answer them.
  4. SOS Classroom: This program has helped sustain the Los Angeles Unified School District’s summer school system. USC students — along with teachers and parents — designed and collected online educational materials to teach K-8 language arts and math to summer school kids. Much of the program includes volunteers.
  5. National IT database in the future: Notre Dame’s Chief Technology Officer Dewitt A. Latimer hopes to engineer a national IT database — powered by crowdsourcing — in the next few years. It would be based on the success of user-generated sites like and Wikipedia, and if the economy can get off the ground, the Hosted Integrated Knowledge Environment Project, or Hike, could become reality.

What ways can you think of to use crowdsourcing in human resources & corporate learning? Are you using crowdsourcing in your department? If yes, how? What implications can you see for it? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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