We are excited to share a new publication in Science Education entitled “Engagement in science through citizen science: Moving beyond data collection.” This article was written by Tina B. Phillips, Bruce V. Lewenstein, Rick Bonney, and our faculty director Heidi Ballard.
Thus far, most studies of citizen science engagement have focused on quantifiable outcomes related to the contribution of data and other measures. Few studies have tried to qualitatively examine citizen science engagement across multiple projects and from participants’ perspective. This study utilizes a foundation of relevant literature and sociocultural learning theories to guide analysis of interviews with 72 participants from six different environmental projects. Engagement in citizen science is examined through cognitive, affective, social, behavioral and motivational dimensions. The authors concluded that “engagement in citizen science is enhanced by acknowledging these multiple dimensions and creating opportunities for volunteers to find personal relevance in their work with scientists”. Additionally, they provide a Dimensions of Engagement framework which can guide the development of new questions and methodologies for studying engagement in citizen science and other forms of informal science education.
If you would like to learn more, please click here to access the full article