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How Leveraging the Wisdom of the Crowd Can Solve Common Challenges

The story of a professor in Colombia who promotes collaborating across universities to build the education of the future.

The story of a professor in Colombia who promotes collaborating across universities to build the education of the future.

Raquel Villarreal
Raquel Villarreal
International Marketing Manager

Maribel Ávila is part of an eight-person team in the Centro de Lectura y Escritura en Español, a reading and writing workshop in the Universidad del Rosario based out of Bogotá, Colombia. The founders of this center noticed that students displayed apathy when it came to learning Spanish (most students’ native language) so Feedback Studio was added to the curriculum as a means to combat that apathy with a formative approach. As it turns out, incorporating Turnitin into this workflow worked like a charm.

“The focus of our work has been not only to have tools and systems but also to give our technology a sense of pedagogy. I think that the perception of the pedagogy practice in accompaniment with technology should be in obtaining what we want to do, how we want to teach, and what tools we can use to satisfy this need, not the other way around. [Feedback Studio] gives us an integral way in which the students can see the process and evolution of their learning.”

Hearing the news that she had been selected as a Global Innovation Awards 2018 winner for Latin America and runner-up to the Global Innovator Award made Maribel extremely happy, not only because she received praise but also because the name of the learning center was exalted. After the announcement was made, she has received invitations to participate at events in which she can share her experience and methodology.

In this process, she came to realize that there are colleagues and institutions facing the same doubts and needs that she faced, as well. Maribel wanted to know how to increase students' interest and involvement in developing their reading and writing skills with the use of technology and discovered that others had the same desire. She asked herself: How nice would it be to create networks or work collaboratively with other colleagues in response to these needs that are mutual? Because people tend to work in silos, sharing is not always an option, so participating in regional events creates an opportunity to do just that – to share the work that has been developed but also the way in which colleagues can collaborate to achieve even greater results.

“For everything we do, we are not going to obtain the same results alone as when we unite with people who have been solving for needs that are common and have the same final purpose in mind, which is to teach our students to be better students, people, and professionals. My great interest is that: to not only do this within the university but also spread the work outside as well.”


Interested in reading more? Check out all of the 2018 Global Innovator stories here!