Young people in iNaturalist: a blended learning framework for biodiversity monitoring

Herodotou, Christothea; Ismail, Nashwa; Lahnstein, A.I. Ana; Aristeidou, Maria; Young, Alison; Johnson, F. Rebecca; Higgins, M. Lila; Khanaposhtani, G. Maryam; Robinson, D. Lucy and Ballard, L. Heidi (2023). Young people in iNaturalist: a blended learning framework for biodiversity monitoring. International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement (Early access).



Participation in authentic research in the field and online through Community and Citizen Science (CCS) has shown to bring learning benefits to volunteers. In online CCS, available platforms present distinct features, ranging from scaffolding the process of data collection, to supporting data analysis and enabling volunteers to initiate their own studies. What is yet not well understood is how best to design CCS programmes that are educational, inclusive, and accessible by diverse volunteers, including young people and those with limited prior science experiences who are rather few in CCS. In this study, we interviewed 31 young people, aged 7–20 years old, who used iNaturalist, an online biodiversity monitoring platform, and identified how different forms of participation online and in the field facilitated (or inhibited) certain forms of learning, as defined by the Environmental Science Agency framework. Findings revealed that iNaturalist enabled participation of young people including those with limited science experiences and facilitated science learning such as the development of science competence and understanding. A blended learning framework for biodiversity monitoring in CCS is presented as a means to support the development of hybrid, educational, and inclusive CCS programmes for young people.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 89412
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 2154-8463
  • Keywords
  • Community citizen science; blended learning; young people; biodiversity monitoring
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2023 The Authors
  • Depositing User
  • Christothea Herodotou