Relationship Between Individual Tasks and Collaborative Engagement in Two Citizen Science Projects

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  • Article: Learning at the Seafloor, Looking at the Sky: The Relationship

Between Individual Tasks and Collaborative Engagement in Two Citizen Science Projects. By Katie DeVries Hassman, Gabriel Mugar, et al.

URL = http://buildingthecommonsdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/cscl-2013-conference-proceedings-2013-hassman.pdf

Abstract

"In this study, we explore the relationship between individual and collaborative learning activities as they occur in two online citizen science projects, Seafloor Explorer and Planet Hunters. Trace ethnography is suggested as a methodology suitable for investigating this relationship. Preliminary findings identify relationships between four types of activities that emerge which support individual and collaborative learning activities and participation."


Excerpt

From the Introduction"

"Online citizen science projects provide tools and opportunities that support public engagement in scientific research processes, often involving large data sets (Wiggins & Crowston, 2011).

The activities supported by citizen science projects have the potential to lead to significant scientific discoveries and to also support participant learning opportunities (Bonney et al., 2009; Brossard, Lewenstein & Bonney, 2005; Wiggins & Crowston, 2011). Until recently, research investigating citizen science projects has conceptualized learning as a potential consequence of individual participation. Expanding on previous research, we draw on the notion of learning from Lave & Wenger’s (1991) theory of legitimate peripheral participation and conceptualize learning not as an outcome, but rather as evolving forms of participation in a community of practice. We use this perspective to explore the relationship between individual and collaborative types of participation in online citizen science projects."