Online citizen science: participation, motivation, and opportunities for informal learning

Curtis, Vickie; Holliman, Richard; Jones, Ann and Scanlon, Eileen (2017). Online citizen science: participation, motivation, and opportunities for informal learning. In: Herodotou, Christothea; Sharples, Mike and Scanlon, Eileen eds. Citizen Inquiry: Synthesising Science and Inquiry Learning. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 7–24.

URL: https://www.routledge.com/Citizen-Inquiry-Synthesi...

Abstract

In this chapter we consider aspects of informal learning in online citizen science projects by exploring the motivation of citizens to participate. A mixed-methods case study approach was taken to investigate three projects in detail: Foldit, Folding@home and Planet Hunters. The following research questions were addressed: (a) What are some of the characteristics of project participants? (b) What motivations initiate and sustain participation in these projects? (c) What opportunities are there for informal learning? Drawing together the findings from these surveys, we explore how online citizen science projects promote informal learning of science, of technology and of forms of distributed collaboration.

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