One of the great things of pooling what we know on a subject is that we end up with a lot of interesting information, even if we have to put it all together to make sense of it.
We accumulate a lot of personal understanding in one space and perhaps, in the process, create new common knowledge, in that it is available to all. This is why blogs are so useful because it gives you an opportunity to see what others make of your ‘take’ on a situation that they can begin their own unique experiences and interests, insight and knowledge of others. Hopefully everyone ends up the richer for collaborating.
We get information from all sorts of places and, as a rule, we believe what we are told because the author is known to us or has an accepted level of solid knowledge. But, what do we do if we are getting information from all sort of strangers who happen to share an interest in the subject we are studying? You will have realised in your teaching role that the advent of the web and ability to search it means that the old undergraduate skills of judging veracity through reliability and validity judgements is a skill everyone needs and the age of being able to do this has come right down.
It is very easy to believe something because ‘everyone else says so’, (look up the phrase Confirmation bias), but many a mob has been formed on the basis of common misunderstanding. Testing and checking what is found is so important. Digitally Literate people who use the web in particular for information understand this and take the best from the rich, contemporary and local insider knowledge available but are able to temper it all to choose the most reliable and reject the least.
Reliability, Validity, Crowdsourcing, Doubted e-learning, Acknowledging,
Look at some examples that particularly struck you to see what the author is saying.
Is the author:
Is the author:
One of the great things of crowdsourcing information is that you are able to build up a picture of accurate understanding that is very much up-to-date. If you sample say five or six contributions you might at least get a sense for what a view or opinion on the topic might be. This is very similar to the kind of ‘feeling’ you get when you read reviews on a shopping site.
Crowdsourcing is excellent at ‘testing the water’, but remember to raise your levels of checking (and your scepticism) if you are making choices or taking decisions on the back of it.
How we respond to crowdsourcing ideas
In responding to other peoples’ ideas it is critical to avoid ad hominem attacks, although we might choose to question validity of ideas due to its source. When crowdsourcing ideas, every contribution is offered as a means of developing it and where this can’t be done because the ideas lacks validity. reliability or quality, it is better left. Crowdsourcing ideas and finding good quality ideas is important because:
It is arguable that the availability of information has progressively opened up to the point now that we are all co-authors, adding to what we know, drawing on our special knowledge to make improvements and generally sharing in what some have called the ‘democratisation’ of learning as well as reminding us of the need to test all that we receive. Look for ideas on your work from others that have merit, signified by the ability to improve your understanding.
Consequently when replying to an argument or ideas, responses should follow one or more of the following approaches:
In short, replies should: