The Penn State Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology is both an annual event and a year-round online discussion of ways that faculty are using technology to enhance teaching, learning, and research.

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 the full conference website at http://symposium.tlt.psu.edu
Saturday, March 22 • 10:00am - 10:45am
Using Citizen Science to Engage and Motivate Students in a Gen Ed Classroom

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Motivation research has shown that students engage more in material and activities that they see as relevant. In general education classes, this can be particularly challenging when students are taking classes far removed from their major.

Citizen science projects, such as those on zooniverse.org, allow students to contribute to real research projects that will lead to published papers, but require no technical training.

In this session, we will demonstrate two citizen science projects that we have used in introductory astronomy general education classes for the last three years. We will describe how this was developed as a combination individual and group project, to simultaneously give our students autonomy to make their own personal contribution to the project, but also build in some accountability of needing to contribute to a group effort. We will discuss how some nuances of our implementation of the project assignment have evolved in response to student feedback each semester. Students routinely express surprise at how much they valued and enjoyed the project, and appreciated that it was “real.”

This topic embodies the 2014 Symposium theme because citizen science highlights the importance of student actions and their investment in the intellectual community of humanity—it makes their coursework contribute to real research, rather than having it feel like busywork with no greater purpose.

Watch the elevator pitch to find out more. 

avatar for Julia Kregenow

Julia Kregenow

Senior Lecturer
Senior Lecturer

Saturday March 22, 2014 10:00am - 10:45am EDT
Room 202 215 Innovation Blvd State College, PA 16803

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