Blog Post

Incorporate Citizen Science in Your Higher Ed Course

Thinking about adding a citizen science component to your higher ed course? The following videos may help get you started. These events were designed to help you as you think about creating online or face-to-face learning experiences for undergraduates and offer tangible tips for incorporating citizen science into any curriculum. University faculty from a variety of disciplines share their wisdom and encouragement with anyone thinking of adding or expanding their use of citizen science in the classroom.

See below for event descriptions and links to recordings and slides.

Roundtable: Using Citizen Science in Higher Education

Citizen science is a great tool for engaging and teaching undergraduates, even if you only devote a small amount of time to it. This roundtable discussion featured faculty describing the goals we have for using citizen science with undergraduates, examples of the varied ways we use citizen science, and the benefits we feel its use provides to students, instructors, and society. Resources and tools available to help implement citizen science also were featured. The roundtable is a great starting point for someone thinking about creating online or face-to-face learning experiences for undergraduates that include citizen science. 

Citizen Science in Online Learning Environments Happy Hour

Terry Gates and Colleen Hitchcock, Presenters

Connecting students to citizen science offers many opportunities to connect students with one another and to others beyond the classroom or the campus. In this webinar, Colleen Hitchcock and Terry Gates discuss the various contexts of online citizen science in college courses. They identify considerations when using citizen science through multiple online avenues and ways to overcome them. Finally, ending with a discussion of tips and resources for successful implementation.

How to Select a Citizen Science Project for Use with Undergraduates Happy Hour

Terry Gates, Caroline Nickerson, and Jill Nugent, Presenters

Citizen science is on the rise. As such, choosing one of the multitudes of projects available for your higher education class can be a daunting task. Caroline Nickerson, Jill Nugent, and Terry Gates discuss strategies for beginning the project search, then finalizing the decision of how many and which projects will work in your classroom environment. A brief description of layering citizen science projects into a cohesive unit wraps up the webinar.  

Assessing Student Participation in Citizen Science Happy Hour

Caroline Nickerson, Jill Nugent, Heather Vance-Chalcraft, Presenters

In this virtual happy hour, Caroline Nickerson, Jill Nugent, and Heather Vance-Chalcraft focused on ways to assess student participation in citizen science. Potential reasons for using formal and informal means of assessment, as well as potential reasons for using citizen science with students, were described. Assessments can be used to gain a better understanding of student engagement, self-efficacy, science literacy, specific course content, and more. A variety of instruments were discussed that faculty can use, from species profiles, to student timesheets, written reflections, discussion boards, and published surveys. SciStarter Education and other helpful resources were highlighted. 

Using Citizen Science in Non-STEM Courses Happy Hour

Chelsea Krieg and Rachel Kramer Theodorou, Presenters

Citizen Science is an engaging way to teach a variety of concepts and skills—even in non-STEM courses or contexts. In this coffee-hour, Chelsea Krieg and Rachel Kramer Theodorou describe how they came to know (and love) and integrate citizen science into their non-STEM courses. The presenters explain how to create effective assignments in the classroom by “backwards planning” the course to include: course learning objectives, assessments of student learning, and examples of activities and lectures that might occur in each class session. Participants learned how to teach disciplinary literacy skills that built upon students’ engagement in citizen science. In the fields of Environmental Education, Education Studies and Teacher Education, citizen science was used to teach effective science pedagogy, to sustain longevity of science learning/interest, and to explore social justice in science and education. In English 101, citizen science was used to explore natural sciences rhetoric, public science writing, and persuasive writing techniques. There are numerous resources available for interested individuals on the coffee-hour reference page for all content from this session.

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