We investigate the development of scientific content knowledge of volunteers participating in online citizen science projects in the Zooniverse (www.zooniverse.org). We use econometric methods to test how measures of project participation relate to success in a science quiz, controlling for factors known to correlate with scientific knowledge. Citizen scientists believe they are learning about both the content and processes of science through their participation. We don't directly test the latter, but we find evidence to support the former - that more actively engaged participants perform better in a project-specific science knowledge quiz, even after controlling for their general science knowledge. We interpret this as evidence of learning of science content inspired by participation in online citizen science.
|Journal of Science Communication
|Published - 2016
- Citizen science
- Public engagement with science and technology
- Public understanding of science and technology