Scaffolding citizen inquiry science learning through the nQuire toolkit.

Herodotou, Christothea; Villasclaras-Fernandez, Eloy and Sharples, Mike (2014). Scaffolding citizen inquiry science learning through the nQuire toolkit. In: EARLI SIG 20: Computer Supported Inquiry Learning, 18-20 Aug 2014, Malmö University, Sweden, p. 5.



Citizen science is a popular paradigm of research collaboration between scientists and non-professional members of the public with the aim to contribute data to natural and physical science projects such as species identification. We have utilised this paradigm to scaffold online personal inquiry learning within informal settings. The nQuire Missions toolkit is a web platform to host the development and management of personal inquiry missions by young people combined with a sensor-based mobile application to support the collection of data on mobile phones. Scaffolding citizen inquiry science is a challenging task, as proposed missions should be personally meaningful, use recognised methods of data collection and analysis, and be valid and ethical.The concept, design and example science missions have been developed through a partnership with Sheffield University Technical College (UTC) where teachers and students acted as design informants. The result of the design exercise has been a specification for the nQuire Missions software and examples of missions which use the mobile phone to collect and share data.

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