Learning and Skill Development in Online Platform Work: Comparing Microworkers’ and Online Freelancers’ Practices (CrowdLearnPlus)

Anoush Margaryan, Timothy Charlton-Czaplicki, Ujwal Gadiraju

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch

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This project is a follow up to the CrowdLearn project1 funded by Cedefop in 2018-2019 to scope and analyse workplace learning and skill development practices in online freelancing type of platform work. As part of the CrowdLearn project, a questionnaire survey of n=1001 online freelancers working on 4 global crowdwork platforms was undertaken. The current project applied the CrowdLearn questionnaire survey to examine workplace learning and skill development practices within the second type of crowdwork, microwork. The additional survey included n=1004 microworkers drawn from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform. Subsequently, the project carried out statistical analyses comparing the results obtained in the microwork platform with those obtained from the online freelancing platforms. In particular, the study examined what if any differences there are between microworkers and online freelancers in the use of workplace learning activities and self-regulatory learning strategies these two different types of online workers undertake to organise and direct their own learning in their crowd workplace. Furthermore, the study analysed what if any correlations there are between the types and frequency of use of workplace learning activities and self-regulated learning strategies the workers undertake and the key personal and environmental factors, in particular the perceived complexity and interdependence of tasks workers undertake; the reported differential personal motivations underpinning microworkers’ and online freelancers’ decisions to take up crowdwork; the intensity of workers’ engagement in crowdwork; and the disposition to self-regulated learning they exhibit in their daily work on the platforms. First of its kind internationally, this comparative study analysing learning practices in microwork and online freelancing extends the CrowdLearn study generating additional insights and policy recommendations to Cedefop on how to foster workplace learning and skill development within both types of online work, widening the reach of the policy conclusions drawn.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School, CBS
Number of pages62
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Final project report, Cedefop CrowdLearnPlus project

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