This free course, Citizen science and global biodiversity, deals with the importance of biodiversity and explores how anyone can contribute to and be involved in identifying and recording wildlife, as a citizen scientist. It looks at what citizen science is, and how citizen science facilitates public involvement in scientific research activities as individuals learn and build skills.
Traditional biological keys are introduced and online recording is demonstrated using citizen science techniques and practical activities using the www.iSpotnature.org platform. The course goes on to demonstrate how, once a species is identified, web resources can be used to research its ecology. The role of citizen science is illustrated through a number of case studies from across the world. Finally, the course concludes by exploring the impact citizen scientists are having on recording biodiversity around the globe.
This OpenLearn science course is produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education, the educational arm of The Exilarch's Foundation.
Enrolling on the course will give you the opportunity to earn an Open University digital badge. Badges are not accredited by The Open University but they're a great way to demonstrate your interest in the subject and commitment to your career, and to provide evidence of continuing professional development.
Once you are signed in, you can manage your digital badges online from My OpenLearn. In addition, you can download and print your OpenLearn statement of participation – which also displays your Open University badge.
The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey. Once you complete the course we would also value your feedback and suggestions for future improvement, in our end-of-course survey. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.
This course is endorsed by the CPD Standards Office . It can be used to provide evidence of continuing professional development but is not accredited learning. We are unable to provide formal learner verification services for participation in our open online courses, which are provided freely by The Open University as self-directed CPD.
Anyone wishing to provide evidence of their enrolment on this course is able to do so by sharing their Activity Record on their OpenLearn Profile, which is available before completion of the course and earning of the Statement of Participation.
Earn this free Open University digital badge if you complete this course! The badge can be displayed, shared and downloaded as a marker of your achievement. The badge is awarded for completing the course and passing the quizzes.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- observe, record and analyse biodiversity
- join the iSpot community and learn from real examples how organisms are identified
- undertake observations and post these to the iSpot website
- use identification keys and other online aids to identification
- understand the use of a microscope as a tool to aid identification.
First Published: 12/12/2018