One aspect of the surveys of crowdworkers learning practices I’ve been recently conducting has been focused on scoping the range and frequency of use of of self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies undertaken by crowdworkers.
The questionnaire included a sub-scale of 34 items grounded in Zimmerman’s 3-phase model of self-regulated learning scoping crowdworkers’ strategies of planning, implementing and reflecting on their workplace learning.
The initial results from the sample of 167 microworkers and 15 online freelancers are as follows:
- The possible range of SRL scores based on the questionnaire: 0 – 102
- The actual SRL score ranges in this sample are:
- microworkers: 4-99
- online freelancers: 10-76
- The sub-groups by SRL score are:
- low SRL: 0-34
- medium SRL: 35-70
- high SRL: 71-102
1. What is the distribution of high, low and medium SRL scores among this sample?
Figure 1. Distribution of SRL scores among the sample of crowdworkers, percentages (n=182, including microworkers (MW) n=167 and online freelancers (OF) n=15).
The bell curve distribution of SRL scores is in line with our previous surveys among ‘conventional’ knowledge workers.
2. What are the most prevalent SRL strategies among crowdworkers across the three phases of Zimmerman’s model?
By ‘most prevalent’ I mean SRL strategies that crowdworkers reported using ‘most of the time’ and ‘always’ (those who reported using a strategy only ‘sometimes’ are excluded from this analysis).
The initial results are shown in Figures 2-4 below.
Overall, we observe that crowdworkers use a wide range of self-regulated learning strategies across all phases, setting and modifying their own learning goals, strategies and performance standards and reflecting on their learning from crowdwork tasks.
Self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation are prevalent among crowdworkers (determined by responses to statements such as ‘important to learn new things in crowdwork tasks’, ‘confident can handle most demands in crowdwork’, prefers tasks that require to learn something new’, ‘meets learning goals’).
Despite the nature of crowdwork tasks that are designed to be completed individually and autonomously, some crowdworkers apply social learning strategies. Examples of social learning strategies are reaching out to others (36% of microworkers and 33% of online freelancers reported doing this most of the time or always); considering how what they have learned from crowdwork may be of interest to their peers (27% of microworkers and 39% of online freelancers do this most of the time or always); or sharing their learning from crowdwork with others (30% of online freelancers and 13% of microworkers).
The patterns of use of SRL strategies are broadly similar across both groups, but there are some differences, most notably:
- More microworkers report regularly allocating time to work on their learning goals (22% of microworkers vs 7% of online freelancers)
- More microworkers report regularly reflecting on their performance on crowdwork tasks (64% of microworkers vs 13% of online freelancers)
- More microworkers report regularly sharing their reflections on their learning with others (20% of microworkers vs 0% of online freelancers)
Further analysis of the data will help determine if these differences are statistically significant and develop possible explanations for the differences.
Figure 2. SRL Planning strategies among crowdworkers
Figure 3. SRL implementation strategies among crowdworkers
Figure 4. SRL reflection strategies among crowdworkers