MOOCs and crowdsourcing: Massive courses and massive resources


  • John Prpić LuleÃ¥ University of Technology
  • James Melton Central Michigan University
  • Araz Taeihagh Singapore Management University
  • Terry Anderson Athabasca University



MOOCs, Crowdsourcing, Openness, IT-mediation, Large-scale participation, Online education, Formal education, Education assessment, IT-mediated Crowds, Virtual labor markets, Open collaboration, Tournament competitions, Peer grading, Education analytics


Premised upon the observation that MOOC and crowdsourcing phenomena share several important characteristics, including IT mediation, large-scale human participation, and varying levels of openness to participants, this work systematizes a comparison of MOOC and crowdsourcing phenomena along these salient dimensions. In doing so, we learn that both domains share further common traits, including similarities in IT structures, knowledge generating capabilities, presence of intermediary service providers, and techniques designed to attract and maintain participant activity. Stemming directly from this analysis, we discuss new directions for future research in both fields and draw out actionable implications for practitioners and researchers in both domains.

Author Biographies

John Prpić, LuleÃ¥ University of Technology

John Prpić is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences at Lulea University of Technology in Sweden. John’s research focuses on the organizational use of IT-mediated Crowds in private and public sector settings, for the purposes of innovation, policy, public health, and collective intelligence.

James Melton, Central Michigan University

James Melton is an Associate Professor of Business Communication in the Department of Business Information Systems at Central Michigan University, USA.   His research focuses on social media, particularly disclosure and privacy practices of users in different cultural contexts. 

Araz Taeihagh, Singapore Management University

Araz Taeihagh is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Singapore Management University. He earned his D.Phil. conducting interdisciplinary research on “A Novel Approach for the Development of Policies in Socio-Technical Systems†at University of Oxford. Since 2007, Taeihagh’s research interest has been on the interface of technology and society and how to shape policies to accommodate new technologies and facilitate positive socio-technical transitions.

Terry Anderson, Athabasca University

Terry Anderson is a Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Distance Education at Athabasca University. His research focuses on interaction and social media use in higher education.




How to Cite

Prpić, J., Melton, J., Taeihagh, A., & Anderson, T. (2015). MOOCs and crowdsourcing: Massive courses and massive resources. First Monday, 20(12).