Self-regulated Learning in the Crowd Workplace

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Crowdworkers are an online workforce operating outside organisational settings; they have no access to formal training and development opportunities that employees typically do (Kuek et al, 2015). Crowdwork has been criticised for being low in learning-intensity, causing deskilling and discouraging workers from developing and applying their skills (Degryse, 2016). Emergent empirical findings challenge these accounts showing that crowdworkers develop skills, such as business development, marketing, digital literacy and technical skills (Barnes et al, 2015). Yet, how crowdworkers go about selfregulating their learning and how their self-regulated learning (SRL) practices compare to those of 'conventional' employees is not understood.
We found that the majority of crowdworkers used all 20 SRL strategies. We uncovered a statistically significant difference in the use of only one SRL strategy: crowdworkers were significantly less likely to write down a learning plan. Thus, whilst over 90% of crowdworkers set personal performance and learning goals, fewer of them (68%) appear to formalise these into a written plan. A possible explanation is that employees are often required to articulate learning plans as part of their performance review in organisations whilst crowdworkers are not required to do so. We conclude that crowdwork is learning-intensive and that, despite operating outside organisational structures, crowdworkers are just as likely as employees to use a range of SRL strategies at work. This is the first empirical study analysing the use of SRL strategies in crowdwork. The findings challenge the prevalent discourse that crowdwork is low in learning-intensity and that crowdworkers do not engage in workplace learning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventSIG 14: Learning and Professional Development: Interaction, Learning and Professional Development - Université de Genève, Geneve, Switzerland
Duration: 12 Sep 201814 Sep 2018
Conference number: 9


ConferenceSIG 14: Learning and Professional Development
LocationUniversité de Genève
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