Usability and Usage of a Citizen Science App by Teachers and Students
Richard Bex, University of Florida, United States ; Lisa Lundgren, North Carolina State University, United States ; Kent Crippen, University of Florida, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Las Vegas, NV, United States ISBN 978-1-939797-37-7 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA
The purpose of this study was to test the usability of a new citizen science mobile App, specifically for paleontology. The App, which was collaboratively designed and developed based upon extensive work understanding the needs and practice of a diverse online community, affords visually rich and scientifically relevant contributions to the domain of paleontology as well as connections and social interaction with the larger community. A usability study involves understanding how users interact with a product in order to improve its capacity for achieving its design goal. In this case, that goal was to support high school teachers and students in participating in the practice of science and see themselves as scientists. The study was completed in two-parts. Part-one involved high school students (n = 10) and part-two included K-12 teachers (n = 25). Testing was conducted with both groups, who rated their experience for a number of user-centered variables. Findings show that the App was perceived as usable and participants expressed high satisfaction coupled with low difficulty of use. Feedback indicated that they enjoyed the familiarity of the layout, the ease of use, and the ability to virtually experience paleontology. Teachers were able to successfully use the App at three different field sites. This study will be of interest to those who wish to design, implement, and/or study science-specific mobile apps at the K-12 level.
Bex, R., Lundgren, L. & Crippen, K. (2019). Usability and Usage of a Citizen Science App by Teachers and Students. In K. Graziano (Ed.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 954-962). Las Vegas, NV, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
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