Macroinvertebrates.org: A Digital Tool for Supporting Identification Activities During Water Quality Biomonitoring Trainings
Authors: Alice Fang (Carnegie Mellon University), Marti Louw (Carnegie Mellon University), Camellia Sanford-Dolly (Rockman et al), Andrea Kautz (Carnegie Museum of Natural History), Dr. John Morse (Clemson University)
Abstract: Macroinvertebrates.org is a visual teaching and learning resource to support identification activities in water quality biomonitoring. The online tool was developed with diverse stakeholders (including trainers, professional scientists, educators, and volunteers) through a codesign process. In this poster, we report on design research and evaluation data collected from trainers that characterizes how they integrated the site into their training workshops, and features they found useful.
Survey, interview, and observation data revealed that Macroinvertebrates.org provided a compelling visual reference tool for trainers, allowing users to easily zoom in on key diagnostic characteristics needed for identification. Trainers reported that the site made it easier for them to train volunteers to Order and Family, and for volunteers to see relevant features and increase ID accuracy. Specifically, the site extended the utility of trainings by serving as a resource for volunteers to practice and review the ID process before and after trainings. In this poster, we report on the perspectives of trainers, gathered through the design research and formative evaluation process.
An interdisciplinary team