Exploring citizen science and inquiry learning through iSpotnature.org

Ansine, Janice; Dodd, Michael; Robinson, David and McAndrew, Patrick (2017). Exploring citizen science and inquiry learning through iSpotnature.org. In: Herodotou, Christothea; Scanlon, Eileen and Sharples, Mike eds. Citizen Inquiry: Synthesising citizen science and inquiry learning. Oxford: Routledge, pp. 83–103.

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

Abstract

iSpotnature.org uses the challenge of identifying nature to engage people as citizen scientists; encouraging learning about wildlife while building their species identification skills. Learning was always part of the design with innovative educational technology-based tools and features incorporated alongside activities that encourage public participation and engagement. iSpot hosts an active online community of experts and novice users who support each other facilitating speedy responses to identification challenges. This chapter considers citizen inquiry through an iSpot five-step process of learning: explore, identify, contribute, personalise and recognition. Exemplars demonstrate how iSpot supports learning; creating citizen inquiry opportunities through meaningful authentic scientific inquiry experiences. Analysis of experiential learning is presented showing learning supported by an integrated quiz, personalised projects and the course "Introduction to Ecosystems", which encourages learners to take on the role of citizen scientists.

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