Crowdsourcing is cooperation between individuals to create content. This allows for multiple insights into a problem to reach a more complete answer. Metaliteracy is “a unified construct that supports the acquisition, production, and sharing of knowledge in collaborative online communities.” (Mackey & Jacobson, Reframing Information as a Metaliteracy, 2011, 62-62) By using crowdsourced information in tandem with metaliteracy, questions can be answered more rapidly and correctly than before. Academic institutions are in the early phases of implementing crowdsourced answer systems. Crowdsourcing is already commonplace among top academic and research institutions. Projects like CERN are proof that combining resources and non-traditional research methods can accomplish unprecedented results.

At Purdue, CrowdAsk is currently being tested among undergraduate students on how they interact to find answers to commonly asked classroom questions. Educators across the United States would have the ability to implement the system in their own classroom. Crowdsourcing is metaliteracy at its finest. No longer will individuals be limited by the resources directly at their disposal. Groups will come together and pool their resources to come up with a more complete answer than any individual alone could.

This talk will focus on the benefits of crowdsourcing as a tool to integrate metaliteracy into everyday life and also academia. This talk will describe intersections between the participatory culture of crowdsourcing and the critical lens of metaliteracy. Participants will examine crowdsourcing through the lens of metaliteracy in order assess its possibilities in meeting student and institutional needs.


crowdsourcing, information literacy, CrowdAsk

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