To successfully conduct citizen science, volunteer participants must have certain science inquiry skills; however, methods to measure their skills are limited. Embedded assessments (EAs) that are seamlessly integrated into citizen science learning experiences offer tremendous potential to determine participants’ skills in authentic ways; but developing EAs requires extensive time and resources. As shown in our NSF-funded exploratory project (EA4CS), developing EAs requires extensive time and resources. To address this challenge, our Streamlining Embedded Assessment to Understand Citizen Sciences’ Skill Gains team is exploring two innovative and collaborative strategies to design and study EAs of participants’ science skills. First, the team is facilitating leaders of five established citizen science projects in re-examining their existing data validation procedures to reveal potential changes in participants’ skills. Second, our team is helping 10 additional project leaders create a set of EA activities and tools for skills associated with species or phenomena identification and that could be used by many different citizen science efforts. Our Streamlining EA project will determine effective and efficient ways to develop EAs, while also expanding understanding of the impact of citizen science on participants.
Funding: National Science Foundation (4 years, NSF1713424)
- Karen Peterman, Karen Peterman Consulting
- Rachel Becker-Klein, PEER Associates
- Andrea Wiggins, University of Nebraska Omaha Colleage of Information Science & Technology
- Tina Phillips, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- Amy Grack-Nelson, Science Museum of Minnesota