SCIENTIFIC LITERACY OF ADULT PARTICIPANTS IN AN ONLINE CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/11290/607938
Title:
SCIENTIFIC LITERACY OF ADULT PARTICIPANTS IN AN ONLINE CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
Authors:
Price, Charles Aaron
Abstract:
Citizen Science projects offer opportunities for non-scientists to take part in scientific research. Scientific results from these projects have been well documented. However, there is limited research about how these projects affect their volunteer participants. In this study, I investigate how participation in an online, collaborative astronomical citizen science project can be associated with the scientific literacy of its participants. Scientific literacy is measured through three elements: attitude towards science, belief in the nature of science and competencies associated with learning science. The first two elements are measured through a pre-test given to 1,385 participants when they join the project and a post-test given six months later to 125 participants. Attitude towards science was measured using nine Likert-items custom designed for this project and beliefs in the nature of science were measured using a modified version of the Nature of Science Knowledge scale. Responses were analyzed using the Rasch Rating Scale Model. Competencies are measured through analysis of discourse occurring in online asynchronous discussion forums using the Community of Inquiry framework, which describes three types of presence in the online forums: cognitive, social and teaching. Results show that overall attitudes did not change, p = .225. However, there was significant change towards attitudes about science in the news (positive) and scientific self efficacy (negative), p < .001 and p = .035 respectively. Beliefs in the nature of science exhibited a small, but significant increase, p = .04. Relative positioning of scores on the belief items did not change much, suggesting the increase is mostly due to reinforcement of current beliefs. The cognitive and teaching presence in the online forums did not change, p = .807 and p = .505 respectively. However, the social presence did change, p = .011. Overall, these results suggest that multi-faceted, collaborative citizen science projects can have an impact on some aspects of scientific literacy. Using the Rasch Model allowed us to uncover effects that may have otherwise been hidden. Future projects may want to include social interactivity between participants and also make participants specifically aware of how they are contributing to the entire scientific process.
Affiliation:
Tufts University
Issue Date:
2011
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/11290/607938
Submitted date:
2015-09-28
Document Source:
Dissertation/Thesis
Language:
English Paper
Type Of Resource:
Empirical Research
Empirical Methodology:
Quantitative
Learning Environment:
Informal
Research Setting:
Citizen Science
Subjects:
Multi-aged Groups
Construct:
Affective Belief/Identity Motivation/Attitude Nature of Science
Nation:
USA
Appears in Collections:
Astronomy Education Research

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorPrice, Charles Aaronen
dc.date.accessioned2016-05-04T08:58:19Zen
dc.date.available2016-05-04T08:58:19Zen
dc.date.issued2011en
dc.date.submitted2015-09-28en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11290/607938en
dc.description.abstractCitizen Science projects offer opportunities for non-scientists to take part in scientific research. Scientific results from these projects have been well documented. However, there is limited research about how these projects affect their volunteer participants. In this study, I investigate how participation in an online, collaborative astronomical citizen science project can be associated with the scientific literacy of its participants. Scientific literacy is measured through three elements: attitude towards science, belief in the nature of science and competencies associated with learning science. The first two elements are measured through a pre-test given to 1,385 participants when they join the project and a post-test given six months later to 125 participants. Attitude towards science was measured using nine Likert-items custom designed for this project and beliefs in the nature of science were measured using a modified version of the Nature of Science Knowledge scale. Responses were analyzed using the Rasch Rating Scale Model. Competencies are measured through analysis of discourse occurring in online asynchronous discussion forums using the Community of Inquiry framework, which describes three types of presence in the online forums: cognitive, social and teaching. Results show that overall attitudes did not change, p = .225. However, there was significant change towards attitudes about science in the news (positive) and scientific self efficacy (negative), p < .001 and p = .035 respectively. Beliefs in the nature of science exhibited a small, but significant increase, p = .04. Relative positioning of scores on the belief items did not change much, suggesting the increase is mostly due to reinforcement of current beliefs. The cognitive and teaching presence in the online forums did not change, p = .807 and p = .505 respectively. However, the social presence did change, p = .011. Overall, these results suggest that multi-faceted, collaborative citizen science projects can have an impact on some aspects of scientific literacy. Using the Rasch Model allowed us to uncover effects that may have otherwise been hidden. Future projects may want to include social interactivity between participants and also make participants specifically aware of how they are contributing to the entire scientific process.en
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2016-05-04T08:58:19Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 412edb2f-2156-4f74-a46b-a9e828000bfa.pdf: 7987870 bytes, checksum: 3854cbbc475369555d64e3c5dd461b22 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2011en
dc.language.isoEnglish Paperen
dc.titleSCIENTIFIC LITERACY OF ADULT PARTICIPANTS IN AN ONLINE CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECTen
dc.typeDissertation/Thesisen
dc.contributor.departmentTufts Universityen
dc.type.resourceEmpirical Researchen
dc.istar.learningenvironmentInformalen
dc.istar.constructAffective Belief/Identity Motivation/Attitude Nature of Scienceen
dc.istar.nationUSAen
dc.istar.empiricalmethodologyQuantitativeen
dc.istar.researchsettingCitizen Scienceen
dc.istar.subjectMulti-aged Groupsen
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