Transformative Citizen Science for Sustainability
In this course you will explore several such successful examples of citizen science, including projects on:
- water and air quality
- climate change and
- loss of green spaces and biodiversity
Well-designed citizen science enables citizens to collect, interpret and share data. Transformative citizen science goes a step further. It allows citizens to contribute to change on issues that matter to them. It is a process that challenges our assumptions and values, to co-create innovative solutions that can tackle sustainability challenges. It is not just about knowing and doing things better but also about doing better things all together
Who should attend?
- MSc-level thinking and research skills
- BSc-level certificate with experience in public or academic research or consultancy in an interdisciplinary field, or having followed an introductory course on academic research methods
- Academic or professional experience with citizen engagement
Citizen Science Basics
Increasingly, non-scientists are contributing to the scientific process in a myriad of CS initiatives worldwide. Given the urgency of the sustainability challenges of our time, opening up the scientific process to non-scientists is a powerful way to address these wicked problems. In this module you will learn the basic definitions and terms to understand different CS practices. You will know about setting goals and research questions to be tackled by a CS endeavour, how to identify who is directly and indirectly involved, and what ethical concerns to bear in mind when developing and deploying a CS project.
Project strategy and design
This module will help you to decide on your overall project strategy and design. Given the CS goal, you learn how to define the appropriate level of engagement of scientists, citizens , policy makers and other stakeholders in different phases of the CS project, and find a gamut of possible communication tools. You will also learn how to define a strategy for the data collection, the recruitment plan, and the mobilization of citizen scientists in the project.
Methods and tools
In this module, you will learn about the technical part of CS, including the requirements for platforms and methods for collecting data of good quality. This module helps you to oversee the data flow and specific expertise that you may need to handle and interpret collected data. Lastly, it will also help you to identify data privacy issues. These topics will be illustrated by many examples of existing CS projects.
Communication and Impact
In this module we focus on practices of monitoring, evaluation, and communication linked to the envisaged impact of the CS project. How to mobilize knowledge and expertise from citizen scientists, engage them in action but also ensure their needs are met? How to connect with policy makers and their political agenda? And what about mass - and social media, informing the wider public to put issues on the societal agenda or create trust and political support? What is the right content, language, format and timing of your message? We also reflect in this module on ethical issues involved in these practices.
Transversely to the theoretical modules 1, 2, 3 and 4 this course also contemplates the practical application of the acquired knowledge in a continued practical module called Transformative Citizen Science Project. In this continued module you will have the opportunity to choose a sustainable challenge of your interest and context to practice the tools and skills acquired to create and implement a citizen science project.
Course delivery details
This course is offered through Wageningen University & Research, a partner institute of EdX.
3-5 hours per week
- Verified Track -$99
- Audit Track - Free
Certification / Credits
What you'll learn
In this course you will have the ability to:
- Develop a plan for initiating and sustaining a citizen science project, including strategies and skills for communication, data collection and management, and ethics.
- Gain insight in the advantages of different types of citizen science projects, ranging from science-oriented to action-oriented, and the challenges of balancing citizen participation and scientific rigour.
- Understand trade-offs in engaging citizens in each project phase from goal formulation to project evaluation. Practical examples and tools are given for data collection and storage, and communicating for impact.
The course is composed of theoretical and practical assignments that will enable you to:
- Understand the basic characteristics of Citizen Science
- Identify the strategic decisions of a citizen science project and activities for citizen involvement.
- Identify requirements and methods for data monitoring, storing, sharing, analysis, interpretation.
- Assess and communicate the process, outcomes and impact of a citizen science project.
Course staff and peers will give you feedback on your own project plan. This will help you master the iterative design-implementation cycle of goal-design-collect-evaluate. You will learn to:
- Determine your sustainability challenge as a citizen science opportunity.
- Develop a strategy for your Transformative Citizen Science Project.
- Plan the data monitoring, storing, sharing, analysis, interpretation of your project.
- Assess and communicate the process, outcomes and impact of your project.
Contact this provider
edX For Business helps leading companies upskill their labor forces by making the world’s greatest educational resources available to learners across a wide variety of in-demand fields. edX For Business delivers high-quality corporate eLearning to train and engage your employees...