Understanding Crowdworkers’ Learning Practices

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch


This paper reports findings of a survey exploring how crowdworkers develop their knowledge and skills in the course of their work on digital platforms. The focus is on informal learning initiated and self-regulated by crowdworkers: engaging in challenging tasks; studying professional literature/online resources; sharing knowledge and collaborating with others. The survey was run within two platforms representing two types of crowdwork – microwork (CrowdFlower) and online freelancing (Upwork). The survey uncovered evidence for considerable individual and social learning activity within both types of crowdwork. Findings suggest that both microwork and online freelancing are learning-intensive and both groups of workers are learning-oriented and self-regulated. Crowdwork is a growing form of employment in developed and developing countries. Improved understanding of learning practices within crowdwork would inform the design of crowdwork platforms; empower crowdworkers to direct their own learning and work; and help platforms, employers, and policymakers enhance the learning potential of crowdwork.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 34th International Labour Process Conference 2016 : Working Revolutions: Revolutionising Work
Place of PublicationStrathclyde
Publication date2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event34th International Labour Process Conference: Working Revolutions: Revolutionising Work - WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Berlin, Germany
Duration: 4 Apr 20166 Apr 2016
Conference number: 34


Conference34th International Labour Process Conference
LocationWZB Berlin Social Science Center
Internet address

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