iSpot: a citizen science platform for inclusive learning and teaching

Ansine, Janice; Araya, Yoseph; Dodd, Michael and Robinson, David (2018). iSpot: a citizen science platform for inclusive learning and teaching. In: European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) Conference 2018, 3-5 Jun 2018, Geneva, Switzerland.


Abstract (iSpot) is an Open University (OU) citizen science platform launched in 2009, which uses the challenge of identifying nature to engage people as citizen scientists. It encourages learning about wildlife while building species identification skills. iSpot has an active online community and provides a multifaceted experience, incorporating participatory science research with e-learning opportunities. Learning was always part of the design, with innovative educational technology based tools and features incorporated along with activities which encourage public participation and engagement that help to facilitate teaching; creating a unique learning journey. This poster shares best practice of an initiative that demonstrates how citizen science can act as a platform for scientific literacy. It demonstrates how iSpot supports informal to formal learning through a five-step model: explore, identify, contribute, personalise and recognition. It shares how the integration of authentic inquiry, through a citizen science platform environment, facilitates learning; and highlights this through the development a new course Global biodiversity and citizen science.

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