Evaluation of FieldScope: A Geospatial Collaboratory for Informal Science Education

May 28th, 2016 | EVALUATION

Over the last decade, the National Geographic Society (NGS) has been developing and supporting FieldScope, a web-based science information portal. Through an interactive mapping platform, citizen scientists have access to a wide range of tools that enable them to document and understand the world around them. By 2008, two major citizen science projects were using FieldScope, but the range of tools and the flexibility of projects were limited. NGS sought additional funding to expand the capabilities of FieldScope.

In September 2010, NGS received a award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the then Informal Science Education (ISE) program. The purpose of this award was to expand the functions and applications of FieldScope. The goal was to create a single, powerful infrastructure for citizen science research projects that any organization could use. The NSF-funded project was designed to develop and test an enhanced version of the pre-2010 FieldScope application. The project goals included supporting major programming development for a fully functional web-based application that would significantly enhance the usability of the current application. Along with programming new features and capabilities, the project also involved extensive evaluation of the new capabilities and of the impact on three organizations that joined as testbed sites.

This paper reports on the findings of those evaluation efforts. It combines data from three different evaluation efforts: that of The Research Group at The Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, which conducted the evaluation from June 2013 to the project end; PEER Associates, which conducted the evaluation from the beginning to June 2013; and the New Media Consortium, which oversaw the usability components of the evaluation throughout the project.

Appendix includes survey.



Team Members

Audrey Kremer, Author, National Geographic Society
Ardice Hartry, Author, University of California
Xiaoxue ‘Vera’ Zhang, Author, University of California


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 1010749
Funding Amount: 2569296

Related URLs

National Geographic Fieldscope


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | General STEM | Geoscience and geography
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Survey
Environment Type: Citizen Science Programs | Media and Technology | Public Programs | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media