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Refine Protocols: Reality Check

 

WE'RE EXCITED THAT...




BUT WE FIND THAT...


Projects can inspire critical thinking and wonderment.


Encouraging critical thinking may demand more complex opportunities. Projects with protocols or user interfaces that are too simple may diminish opportunities for engaging with the scientific process.




Hand-held data collection devices may increase quality of data collected and provide record of data input sequences.


Such technology can be expensive to supply and support. While some participants may be excited to use such devices, others may be deterred. Do a cost-benefit analysis with the users in mind.




Working with dispersed observers to increase data collection spatially or temporally.


Recruiting and retaining a dispersed network of volunteers.




A wealth of technology available... often open-source and/or free... can enhance projects and appeal to a wide range of observers (particularly youth).


"Sexy" tools can seduce projects into capturing unnecessary data at a cost (even when free, use of technology can require infrastructure to support and staff time to learn). Stay focused when exploring tech options.

 

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IT CAN BE CHALLENGING TO....




BUT SOME IDEAS ARE...


Balancing educational and scientific goals and outcomes.







Assessing observer skill level and data quality without discouraging or disrespecting contributions.


One possibility: set up a system of advancement which will allow volunteers to be rewarded for achieving higher levels of  challenges (web quizzes, numbers of observations submitted, etc.). See some How-to tips, as well as some advantages for participant retention.

 

 


Know of any opportunities for or challenges to this step?  Soon you will be able to share them through our discussion forum.


 

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(form a team)


(recruit participants)

Citizen science, volunteer monitoring, participatory action research... this site supports organizers of all initiatives where public participants are involved in scientific research.

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