Session Preview: Collaboration in Diverse Contexts

The technical session Collaboration in Diverse Contexts will feature three presentations. See the schedule for details on when and where to go.

Quality is a Verb: The Operationalization of Data Quality in a Citizen Science Community

S. Andrew Sheppard, Loren Terveen

Citizen science is becoming more valuable as a potential source of environmental data. Involving citizens in data collection has the added educational benefits of increased scientific awareness and local ownership of environmental concerns. However, a common concern among domain experts is the presumed lower quality of data submitted by volunteers. In this paper, we explore data quality assurance practices in River Watch, a community-based monitoring program in the Red River basin. We investigate how the participants in River Watch understand and prioritize data quality concerns. We found that data quality in River Watch is primarily maintained through universal adherence to standard operating procedures, but there remain areas where technological intervention may help. We also found that rigorous data quality assurance practices appear to enhance rather than hinder the educational goals of the program. We draw implications for the design of quality assurance mechanisms for River Watch and other citizen science projects.

Online and Offline Interactions in Online Communities

Wyl McCully, Cliff Lampe, Chandan Sarkar, Alcides Velasquez, Akshaya Sreevinasan

Online communities, while primarily enacted through technology-mediated environments, can also include offline meetings between members, promoting interactivity and community building. This study explores the offline interactions of online community members and its subsequent impact on online participation. We argue that offline interactions have a counterintuitive impact on online participation. Although these offline interactions strengthen relationships, these relationships undermine the community’s sustainability in terms of site participation. Participation has been defined as contribution of content to the online community. A multi-method analysis technique using content analysis, qualitative interviews, and server level quantitative data of users in supports our claim.

Don’t Leave Me Alone: Effectiveness of a Framed Wiki-Based Learning Activity

Nikolaos Tselios, Panagiota Altanopoulou,Vassilis Komis

In this paper, the effectiveness of a framed wiki-based learning activity is examined. A one-group pretest–posttest design was conducted towards this aim. The study involved 146 first year university students of a Greek Education Department using wikis to learn basic aspects and implications of search engines in the context of a first year course entitled “Introduction to ICT”. Data analysis showed significant improvement in learning outcomes, in particular for students with low initial performance. The average students’ questionnaire score jumped from 38.6% to 55%. In addition, a positive attitude towards using wikis in their project was expressed by the students. The design of the activity, the context of the study and the results obtained are discussed in detail.

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