Mass collaboration can bring about major transformative changes in the way people can work collectively. This emerging paradigm promises significant economic and social benefits and enhanced efficiency across a range of sectors, including learning and education. Accordingly, this article introduces, demonstrates in use, and evaluates an organizational and governance model designed to provide guidance and execution support for the implementation and operation of mass collaborative learning initiatives. The design science research process is adopted to guide the design and development of the proposed model. The model stands on three streams of work, addressing key aspects and elements that have a supporting influence on community learning: (i) identify the positive and negative factors in existing and active examples of mass collaboration; (ii) adopt contributions of collaborative networks in terms of structural and behavioral aspects; and (iii) establish adequate learning assessment indicators and metrics. The model is used for a case study in which vocational education and training meet the needs of collaborative education–enterprise approaches. Initially, the validation of the model is verified by the partners and stakeholders of a particular project in the area of education–enterprises relations to ensure that it is sufficiently appropriate for applications in a digital platform developed by such projects. The three first steps of (the proposed) applicability evaluation (adequacy, feasibility, and effectiveness) are then performed. The positive results gained from model validation and its applicability evaluation in this project indicate that not only is the model fairly adequate, feasible, and effective for applications in the developed digital platform but also that it has a high potential for utilization in supporting and directing the creation, implementation, and operation of mass collaborative learning initiatives. Although the validation was carried out in the context of a single project, in fact, it was based on a large “focus group” of experts involved in this international initiative, which is in accordance with the Design Science Research method. Thus, this article reflects a kind of applied research of a socio-technical nature, aiming to find guidelines and practical solutions to the specific issues, problems, and concerns of mass collaborative learning initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8356
Number of pages36
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2022


  • collaborative networks
  • learning initiatives
  • mass collaboration
  • mass collaborative learning
  • organizational and governance model


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