ATC21S Calling all Crowd Sourcers

I have the pleasure to help spupport an effort to enable 21st century skills learning and assessment in schools and countries through a partnership with Cisco, Intel, Microsoft and the University of Melbourne.  Learn more about the project at

The ATC21S project is developing new forms of assessment and teaching approaches to meet the demands of the 21st century. One of the areas of interest is the assessment and teaching of collaborative problem solving. The goal is to deliver the assessment strategy through open source automated assessment technologies that can alert teachers to the appropriate learning intervention and give instant feedback to the students in order to improve their collaborative problem solving skills.

This is being done to capitalise on the effect of increasing availability of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and the fact that it has changed the way that people access and use information and collaborate to solve problems. Education systems are changing the way they respond by encouraging and instilling in students the skills necessary for collaborative work.

Since the start of the ATC21S project, the University of Melbourne Project Office has received hundreds of requests from individuals and organisations to become actively involved and contribute to the project. Thus far we have not been able to fully accommodate such a large number of requests.

On 5th April 2011, ATC21S will launch a Crowdsourcing Challenge (hosted by to make use of the talents of those interested in contributing to the goals of the ATC21S project. The prize up for grabs is $US20,000. “Crowdsourcing” or “open innovation” are terms used to describe the use of work done by the public at large.

The Challenge is to create software module required for assessment of collaborative problem solving skills in schools. ATC21S envisages a multiplayer Flash game template & GUI that can export process log-files that describe user actions to other software modules which will eventually be part of the system. A range of open source and proprietary software is currently available for developing collaborative gaming scenarios. ATC21S anticipates that code from existing software could be adapted for this Challenge. To receive an award, the successful Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to ATC21S. Instead, they will grant to ATC21S non-exclusive license to practice their solutions. Any winning software will be will be in the public domain and able to be used freely by educational users in the development of assessment tasks.

More detailed information about this challenge including how to participate will be available at:  The InnoCentive website:
The Economist website:

I hope you are interested and please share with friends, colleagues, researchers and other innovators and help us transform education and support countries around the world to help skill up their citizens.

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