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Emergent learning and skill development practices in the platform economy: Implications for higher education practice and policy

CHEF Talk by Anoush Margaryan, Full Professor, Department of Digitalization and Endowed Chair of Blended Learning Copenhagen Business School

2019.08.12 | Søren Smedegaard Bengtsen

Date Fri 13 Sep
Time 12:00 13:00
Location Danish School of Education (DPU), Campus Emdrup, room D120. Video-link to CUDiM, Campus Aarhus, building 1483, room 656.

Crowdwork platforms are emergent global workplaces operating outside conventional organisational settings. Crowdworkers who earn income through these platforms have no access to formal training, professional development and incidental knowledge sharing opportunities that conventional employees typically do (Kuek et al, 2015). Crowdwork has been criticised for being low in learning-intensity, causing deskilling and preventing workers from developing and applying their skills (Degryse, 2016). Emergent empirical findings challenge these accounts indicating that crowdworkers engage in self-initiated learning (Margaryan, 2019a; 2019b) and develop core skills, such as technical, communication, learning to learn, analytical and other skills through their everyday work on the platforms (Lehdonvirta, Margaryan et al, 2019).

In this talk, findings from a series of recent surveys and interviews with crowdworkers, platform providers and other stakeholders will be presented to elucidate the workplace learning activities and self-regulated learning strategies crowdworkers undertake; the skills they develop and the issues and opportunities for learning and professional development in crowdwork platforms.

Key implications for higher education institutions will be outlined. The talk is based on two ongoing funded research projects: Skill formation in online platform work (funded by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, in collaboration the University of Oxford) and  Learning in Crowdwork (funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany).