Evaluate and improve
For existing citizen science projects and communities, it is important to evaluate whether the project or community is reaching its goals and envisioned impact. Evaluation can be done by PULSAQUA on several levels:
- Evaluation of methods, manuals/protocols, and techniques used to collect data and/or to do research with the citizen scientists
- Evaluation regarding understanding and user-friendliness of the materials and methods, as well as technical usability and applicability.
- We will use interviews and surveys, and experimental testing to evaluate and possibly improve.
- General evaluation strategy on the motivation of participating citizen scientists, learning goals and achievements, and awareness and action increased with the citizen scientist due to the project.
- Impact assessment of the citizen science project or community, deploying a multi-criteria and cost-benefit analysis tool we developed to assess the impact of the project, but mostly to make the pros and cons of a project visible. For more information, please read this explanation on how the tool was implemented for the case of plastics citizen science monitoring.
One of the often recurring discussion points for citizen science is that the resulting data quality is uncertain. This uncertainties and doubts can be removed with strong and appropriate validation methods. We therefore offer the following services:
- The set-up of appropriate and practical validation methods that can be implemented by the citizen science project or community.
- Statistical data analysis of existing citizen science data series on reliability, consistency and appropriateness.
- Real-time fieldwork validation, by providing in the field validation of citizen science data collection.
Tailor-made training for citizen scientists
Every citizen science project is strengthened by offering training and workshops for the participating citizen scientists, to increase impact. The focus can lie on:
- A training to teach the citizen scientist how to perform its respective tasks, for in the end developing better results and high-quality data.
- A workshop that explains the bigger picture, in order to understand the reasons for performing these tasks within the (environmental) challenge and research goals of the project, for increasing education and awareness.
- Workshops on how to do science, increasing knowledge on science and how to practice science, for increased science literacy.
- Training that relates to the topic of research and is meant to increase fun and creativity, to in the end keep the citizen scientists motivated and engaged.
These trainings are different for each citizen science project, and PULSAQUA can develop these workshops for your project, initiative, community or observatory.