In addition to learning more about epsilon Aurigae, Citizen Sky is also a project that furthers our collective understanding of citizen science programs in general. The evaluation effort helps with the later goal by examining the process and trends involved in team formation, communication, and collaboration, in addition to studying individual participants' experiences. Evaluation plays an important role in a project of this nature, not only because it helps to identify programmatic strengths and weaknesses (the later of which can then be improved upon in a timely fashion), but also because it helps communicate information about outcomes and impacts to the project's funders.
For our current evaluation efforts we are focusing on communication patterns within the online forums - and we are seeking assistance from Citizen Sky participants who are potentially interested in trying their hand at another type of data analysis - i.e., using a coding rubric to analyze specific comments and help assess overall trends.
There will likely be presentation and publication opportunities that emerge from this effort, and we are excited about this opportunity to involve participants in this part of the evaluation process and explore opportunities for additional involvement in future evaluation efforts as well. If you are interested in participating or have questions, please contact Jennifer Borland: email@example.com for more information.
Thanks and best wishes!