Crowdsourcing Project: Thoughts & Proposals for the Open Web Library channel

By Peter Organisciak, João Menezes, Jan Dittrich & Eugenia Ortiz

A guest post from our Crowdsource Crowdsourcing project team who have spent the last few weeks tackling the Open Web Library channel. Find below, some of their observations, thoughts and proposals.


Did you ever try to learn about some new technology on the web?
We often got stuck with bits and pieces, video tutorials in poor quality and scattered unrelated content.

The Mozilla Open Web Library wants to change this experience for the better. We aim to motivate & enable people to learn about open web technologies by providing easy access to informative online content.

What should the experience be?

For a successful learning experience, we propose that complete topic content comes bundled in modules that build on each other. This enables a course like structure decoupled into chapters that range from the basics the advanced techniques.

This allows the student to consume the entire topic from start to finish or just brush up on those modules that are of interest to yourself.

Delivery of content

Different methods of content delivery were identified, investigated and debated. Finally we settled on videos being the medium of choice.

We believe that videos are the most versatile tool that enables a real-talk-like experience as well as hand-on-examples. Text and exercises are possible as well and can complement video content. They can also make a good basis for courses within the proposed Student Outreach channel.

In order to give a sense of achievement and to keep the learner motivated we think that short modules (videos) are the best way. People are more likely to consume bite size chunks in the form of a series while still having the ability to go through the entire topic.

Quality of content

It is quite hard to decide, for the moment, how restrictive we are about the quality of content that will be provided and how crowd involvement can support the library.

In order to provide the best content upfront we thought about initially involving professionals in the creation of the open web library.
They would provide an overview over core topics in different fields.

Structural overview of the library

We propose:

  • Offering free and high quality content that enables people to enhance their web and its related technologies
  • Delivering content in a way that will allow people to learn and participate with an underlying structure as a guide for their learning process. This structure based on relations of subjects could be developed by collaborative/open recommendations made by experts
  • Defining the format of the content as, primarily, short videos; but we are also open to experience with other interesting type of content
  • Getting content created – in the future – by crowd involvement. At first we will ask experts to share their knowledge and we guarantee that it will be great!
  • Encouraging people’s participation by allowing them to rate videos, make comments or participate through any other feedback mechanism. This will be an open library, so people’s opinion and material will be our most powerful fuel to make it awesome

Going forward

Remember, this channel is still an idea in incubation within the framework of the proposed evolution of the Mozilla Labs Concept Series.

We’d love to hear your thoughts – Email cyberdees[at]mozilla[dot]com
For all the latest updates – Watch this space or follow @MozConcept on Twitter