Abstract: The widespread availability of open educational resources (OER) has revolutionized education, enabling access to educational materials regardless of geographical borders. However, the creation and sharing of OER still pose challenges, requiring innovative approaches to leverage collective intelligence and foster collaboration. In this study, we explore the potential of hackathons as a stigmergic collaboration method to facilitate the creation and sharing of OER in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Hackathons, traditionally used in the technology sector to spur rapid prototyping and innovation, offer a unique opportunity for diverse individuals to collaborate, exchange ideas, and collectively contribute to a common goal within a limited timeframe.
Drawing on principles of stigmergy, a self-organizing system where individuals indirectly communicate and coordinate through the environment, we propose a framework for borderless hackathons in the context of MOOCs. This framework empowers participants to leverage their diverse skills and knowledge to create OER that address specific educational needs and challenges. To illustrate the efficacy of this approach, we present a case study of a borderless hackathon conducted within a MOOC platform. We analyze participant interactions, contributions, and outcomes to explore the potential benefits and challenges of using hackathons for OER creation.
Our findings indicate that borderless hackathons in MOOCs can foster a collaborative environment, enhance creativity, and promote active engagement among participants. The stigmergic nature of hackathons allows individuals to build upon and iterate each other’s work, leading to the creation of high-quality and contextually relevant OER. Furthermore, hackathons enable networking opportunities and facilitate the formation of communities of practice, thereby fostering ongoing collaboration beyond the event.
This study contributes to the emerging field of open education by providing insights into the potential of hackathons as a stigmergic collaboration method to enhance the creation and sharing of OER in MOOCs. The proposed framework offers a novel approach to leverage collective intelligence, tap into diverse expertise, and address educational challenges in a borderless context. By empowering learners and educators to actively contribute to OER creation, this approach has the potential to democratize education and promote a culture of open collaboration.