Crowdsourcing: what is it, and what does it consist of?

Crowdsourcing is present in our daily lives, even if we are unaware of it. Often, there are tasks in our...

Table of contents

Crowdsourcing: what is it, and what does it consist of?

Crowdsourcing is present in our daily lives, even if we are unaware of it. Often, there are tasks in our companies or institutions that we need help to handle internally, and that is where this model can help us.

But it can also help us on a productive level and make an educational or training project accessible to many others.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Keep reading, and in the following lines, we will explain what crowdsourcing is, what it consists of, and the types we can find.

What is crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is a process of obtaining services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, especially from an online community. 

It involves outsourcing tasks traditionally performed by an individual or organization to a group of people or a community, often through an online platform. 

The contributions can be in the form of money, time, knowledge, or skills

Crowdsourcing can be used in various fields, including business, science, journalism, and art. And, of course, also in the education sector.

It can provide a cost-effective way to complete tasks, tap into a wider talent pool and expertise, and engage with diverse individuals to generate new and innovative ideas.

Crowdsourcing: what is it, and what does it consist of?

Examples of crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing in education involves engaging a community of individuals, including students, teachers, and other experts, to collaborate on a project or problem. It involves leveraging the community’s collective knowledge, skills, and expertise to achieve a specific goal. 

You can facilitate this process through various online platforms and collaborative work and communication tools.

Some examples of crowdsourcing in education are:

  1. Wikipedia: Wikipedia is one of the most popular examples of educational crowdsourcing. It is a free online encyclopedia created and maintained by a community of volunteer contributors worldwide.
  1. Peer review: Peer review is a common practice in academic publishing, where experts in the field review and provide feedback on submitted manuscripts. This process involves contributing knowledge and expertise from a community of researchers.
  1. Citizen science: Citizen science projects involve volunteers from the public in scientific research, data collection, and analysis. These projects allow for a broader range of research with the help of a large pool of participants.
  1. Open educational resources (OER): OER are educational materials freely available for anyone to use, share, and modify. These resources are often created and shared through crowdsourcing, where educators and other experts contribute their knowledge and expertise to create high-quality educational content.
  1. Collaborative problem-solving: Crowdsourcing can facilitate collaborative problem-solving in the classroom. For example, students can work together to solve a complex problem or complete a project, drawing on each other’s strengths and expertise to find a solution.

Crowdsourcing in education can take many forms, including creating open educational resources, conducting citizen science projects, engaging in collaborative problem-solving, and providing peer feedback and review. 

It can enhance student engagement, facilitate knowledge-sharing, empower sustainable education, and create opportunities for diverse perspectives and innovative ideas to be shared and developed. 

Additionally, it can provide you with a cost-effective and scalable approach to education and training. 

However, it is vital to ensure that you maintain the quality and integrity of the work produced through crowdsourcing through appropriate supervision and evaluation.

Subscribe today to SMOWL’s weekly newsletter!

Discover the latest trends in eLearning, technology, and innovation, alongside experts in assessment and talent management. Stay informed about industry updates and get the information you need.

Simply fill out the form and stay up-to-date with everything relevant in our field.

Crowdsourcing types

There are several types of crowdsourcing used in different areas and contexts. Here are some of the most common types.

Creative crowdsourcing

You can use this crowdsourcing type to generate ideas and create creative content, such as graphic design, music, videos, and writing. 

The online community and AI contribute their creativity and knowledge to produce content you can use in art, advertising, marketing, etc., projects.

Scientific crowdsourcing

Also known as citizen science, this type of crowdsourcing involves the participation of non-scientific individuals in scientific research projects, in areas such as astronomy, biology, and ecology, among others. 

Participants can help you analyze data, make observations, identify patterns, and contribute valuable research contributions.

Crowdsourcing types


Crowdfunding is a form of collective financing in which you can invite the online community to invest in your projects and businesses. You should set a financing goal and offer rewards to investors, ranging from a mention in the credits to a stake in the company.

Knowledge-based crowdsourcing

This type of crowdsourcing involves collective collaboration in problem-solving and decision-making in various areas, such as politics, education, and research, among others. 

The online community contributes their experience and knowledge to find innovative solutions to complex problems you could have.

Microtask-based crowdsourcing

This type of crowdsourcing involves outsourcing small and specific tasks, such as text transcription, object identification in images, and content moderation. 

Participants can perform these tasks from anywhere and receive a small compensation.

These are just some examples of the different types of crowdsourcing used today. Each type has its own characteristics and benefits and can be used in various contexts.

The role of proctoring in crowdsourcing

The role of proctoring in crowdsourcing

Proctoring can also be helpful in the context of crowdsourcing to ensure the quality and integrity of the results you obtain.

In some cases, crowdsourcing involves performing critical or sensitive tasks requiring supervision to meet specific standards or guidelines.

In these cases, proctoring can provide a way to supervise participants and ensure that established guidelines are followed.

For example, in scientific crowdsourcing, where participants may be responsible for analyzing data or conducting experiments, proctoring can ensure that proper protocols are followed and that results are accurate and reliable.

On the other hand, in microtask crowdsourcing, proctoring can help prevent fraud and the completion of fraudulent tasks.

Additionally, proctoring can also help ensure that participants are meeting deadlines and delivering work on time.

With this type of supervision, you can monitor participants’ progress and give real-time feedback to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily.

Why not try applying SMOWL proctoring products to your crowdsourcing processes?

Ask us for a free demo and discover a new way to track your processes reliably.

Download now!

8 interesting


about proctoring

Discover everything you need about online proctoring in this book to know how to choose the best software.

Fill out the form and download the guide now.

And subscribe to the weekly SMOWL newsletter to get exclusive offers and promotions.

You will discover all the trends in eLearning, technology, innovation, and proctoring at the hands of evaluation and talent management experts.

Share on:

Write below what you are looking for

Escribe a continuación lo que estas buscando