Happy new year and a 2018 full of successful citizen science!
At UCL ExCiteS we want to share with you the announcement of a new course that you can join online. You can register your interest in the course here.
Update: The link to join the course is now open - sign up here!
It's a new year, and just the right time to announce that starting on the 11th January, UCL will run an 11 weeks hybrid (online and face-to-face) course called "Introduction to Citizen Science and Scientific Crowdsourcing". This course aim is to introduce students to the theory and practice of citizen science and scientific crowdsourcing. The module will explore the history, theoretical foundations, and practical aspects of designing and running citizen science projects and it will be mostly taught by members of the Extreme Citizen Science group (we have some guests from other organisations such as Earthwatch).
You can join the online version of the course no matter where you are in the world; lectures will be provided as videos, with prior reading, quizzes and an online forum in which you can write your thoughts as you go along. We will publish a link to this as soon as possible.
The course is run for the first time as part of the M.Sc. programmes at the Department of Geography at UCL, with face-to-face lectures and practical work. In the spirit of citizen science, we're opening the course, and it will be available on the UCLeXtend website. The course will run as a hybrid - the material was designed to develop the learning of the students in the class, but then organised in a way that anyone who wants to join the course remotely can do so. The reading material and class preparation videos are all open access, and in the practicals, we are using open source software or websites that you can access regardless of your registration. Of course, you can't get the UCL credits for attending the class if you are just joining remotely - and those that attend the class will be assessed through two assignments that will be marked, but there are plenty of reflection questions and discussions in the online course for you to assess your progress and to provide us with feedback on how the course is going.
It's not exactly a MOOC, and we want to experiment with this hybrid mode of opening up the course, in the hope that it will be useful and rewarding to join us.
Each week, there will be two lectures and a practical session that will demonstrate some aspects of the issues that were covered during the lectures. Each lecture and the activities that are linked to it are planned to last about an hour.
As a preparation for class, we will provide a video or two to watch and 2 or 3 pieces of text to read. These are necessary since the lecture assumes this preparation. The necessary readings are marked "Core Reading". We also provide "Additional Reading" - these are usually pieces that were discussed in class but can be read after it. Finally, there are "Deep Dive" reading are expanding on the class material and might be used in assignments (if you take the face to face course), or to expand your understanding (if you are taking the course remotely).
Below you'll find an outline of the course and its content. If you're interested, register on UCLeXtend, and fill in this pre-registration form. The course will be open on UCLeXtend in the week before it starts, so if you fill in the form, I'll contact you when the course is open to enrolment.
Here is the planned content:
Lecture: Historical citizen science, current trends that influence citizen science, and an overview
Lecture: Landscape of citizen science - Typologies
Practical: experiencing citizen science - PenguinWatch, Gender and Tech Magazines, and GalaxyZoo
Lecture: Crowdsourcing principles and practice
Lecture: Scientific crowdsourcing examples (guest lecture TBA)
Practical: More complex crowdsourcing - OpenStreetMap and EyeOnAlz
Lecture: User-centred design principles for citizen science technology
Lecture: Online volunteer engagement, management, and care
Practical: Volunteer engagement scenarios
Lecture: User-Centred Design methods for citizen science technology
Lecture: User-Centred Design Methods for citizen science technology (guest lecture TBA)
Practical: Usability evaluation of citizen science application - cognitive walkthrough and heuristic evaluation
Lecture: Dealing with data in citizen science - quality, management, and sharing
Lecture: Practical aspects of data management - technologies and existing systems
Practical: using and analysing citizen science data with OPAL Data Explorer
-- No Class -- Reading week
Lecture: Citizen Science in environmental management and monitoring
Lecture: Scales and types of environmental citizen science
(Guest lecture from Earthwatch TBA)
Practical: developing data collection tool with Esri Survey123
Lecture: Ethics and legal aspects of citizen science
Lecture: Introduction to data collection for non-literate participants, Sapelli
Practical: Developing data collection app with Sapelli
Lecture: Evaluation of citizen science activities - types and approaches
Lecture: Tools and methods of evaluation and demonstration on projects
Practical: Developing an evaluation framework and plan for a project
Lecture: Policy and organisational aspects of citizen science
Lecture: Understanding terminologies and definitions of citizen science
Practical: Data collection with Sapelli and evaluation of results
Lecture: Theoretical frameworks for citizen science - from Actor-Network Theory to Post-Normal Science
Lecture: Science and society framing of citizen science - from Alan Irwin to Responsible Research and Innovation
Practical: Using iNaturalist or iSpot to collect data in the wild, and preparation to City Nature Challenge 2018
Part of the reason that we can open the course is through the support of UCL Geography department, with additional support from the following bodies:
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) project "OPENER: Scoping out a national cOmmunity of Practice for public ENgagement with Environmental Research" (NE/R012067/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) projects "Extreme Citizen Science" (EP/I025278/1) and "Challenging RISK: Achieving Resilience by Integrating Societal and Technical Knowledge" (EP/K022377/1)
EU Horizon 2020 projects "Doing It Together science (DITOs") (Project ID 709443) and "WeGovNow" (Project ID 693514).
European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant "Extreme Citizen Science: Analysis and Visualisation" (Project ID 694767).