Academic journal article Journal of International Technology and Information Management

Crowdsourcing Management Education Assessment

Academic journal article Journal of International Technology and Information Management

Crowdsourcing Management Education Assessment

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Assessment is now at the center of the new business education zeitgeist. This focus is the direct result of feedback from the business community regarding the growing gap between their needs and graduates from many business schools. Recently this divide has fallen under even closer scrutiny because of increasing student debt and the growing controversy over return-on-investment. Today business leaders are looking for web-savvy, problem-solving graduates. To this end, AACSB and regional accrediting bodies are calling for the adoption of comprehensive collaborative learning strategies to better align graduates' skill sets with the real needs of business. Crowdsourcing, which is the process of connecting students and faculty with a broad-based group of both internal and external resources, is receiving increased attention throughout the assessment community. Within this context, crowdsourcing broadens the resource pool and thus provides for improved quality assurance in terms of meaning, quality, integrity, accountability and transparency. The proposed crowdsourcing-based quality assurance strategy is illustrated using sample data from a recent MBA program assessment. This article also outlines how the crowdsourcing can be used to enhance student learning outcomes via specific implementation strategies.

Keywords: Assessment, Quality Assurance, Crowdsourcing, Business Education, Social Media

INTRODUCTION

Assessment can be defined as the process by which educational institutions measure learning outcomes against a set of specific goal and objectives. This process typically involves evaluating content coverage, learning modalities, program rigor and resource support. For the purposes of this paper, quality assurance is defined as a methodology for characterizing the effectiveness of a particular academic course or program. One promising approach for enhancing the assessment process is through the use of crowdsourcing (Howe, 2006). To that end, crowdsourcing via social media is beginning to see increased application throughout the higher education universe (O'Leary, 2015; Sharma, 2011; Solemon, 2014). Specifically, crowdsourcing can open up multiple options for adding new dimensions to learning and knowledge acquisition by allowing students to connect in both formal and informal learning settings. For example, it offers a forum for faculty and students to present their ideas and problem-solving abilities in front of an entire community, whereas these ideas are frequently lost in translation when transmitted through traditional institutional channels.

Students must take ownership of their own learning in exchange for
multiple modes of engagement in familiar online social venues. At the
same time, students must accept communal responsibility and provide
mentoring in a quid pro quo environment where payment is non-material.
Empowered by proven techniques in social learning design and
crowdsourcing, these new responsibilities promise more effective and
efficient learning outcomes (Anderson, 2011).

Crowdsourcing can enable students to hone their problem-solving skills by accessing a large pool of talent via the assessment process. This learning strategy is based on a collaborative and constructivist approach that enables students to more fully develop the skill sets needed to meet the evolving demands from the business community (Bruner, 2011; Thomas, 2012). The business community has embraced crowdsourcing as an important problem-solving vehicle for over a decade (Brown, 2014; Rogstabius, 2014).

The challenge of student learning assurance represents a key success factor in the future of management education, particularly as business schools continue the transition to online and blended programs. The following three learning paradigms offer a foundational framework for enhancing the assessment process within this expanding cosmos: 1) Formative Assessment Model (FAM), 2) Personal Learning Environments (PLE), and 3) E-learning Quality Assurance (EQL). …

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