How ExpertNet would work

Officials at the hypothetical Innovation Department's Adult Learners Division are at a crossroads, and they’re not sure which path to take. They are considering various strategies to help adults learn math and reading skills, and they’re wondering whether to adopt an approach that rewards students for good work.

The department needs advice from experts on how to proceed, so it turns to the new ExpertNet wiki for help.

The department’s officials would first set up a public consultation on the topic that the public can easily find. To open the consultation, they might ask a question — for example, what research has been conducted on the relationship between adult academic performance and incentives?

They then contact experts by distributing the question to professional networks. Ideally, those experts will also invite their colleagues to submit answers and generate an even wider array of feedback.

Posting feedback will be a simple process and will likely accommodate space for experts to explain the available research.

As responses flow in, officials at the Adult Learners Division engage those experts in further discussions. And they will become bloggers, updating the experts on what they're doing with the feedback they're receiving or perhaps highlighting the most relevant, provocative responses. Interested people can read the blog rather than sorting through all the entries on the topic of incentives and successful learning.

Soon, officials will be able to determine whether a rewards-based program is a good strategy for helping adult students improve their math and reading abilities.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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