One unintended outcome of participating in Douglass Day 2022 this February, was learning to use the Zooniverse platform to transcribe historical documents (read about our involvement in The Day). After the event, I spent some time exploring the projects hosted on Zooniverse and am excited to share some initial thoughts about how you and your students can use it.
Zooniverse is “the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research.” Researchers from all disciplines create projects and invite volunteers to participate. There are currently 87 active projects, such as:
World Architecture Unlocked, which asks volunteers to transcribe information for all 1.2 million images in The Courtauld Conway Library collection of architectural images. The resulting collection will be made publicly available for the first time, opening it up to all for further research.
Penguin Watch, in which you are asked to count penguins, chicks, and eggs found in time-lapse photographs to help understand penguin population changes. This is a fun project for citizen researchers of all ages!
Beyond Border: Transcribing Historic Maine Land Documents requests volunteers to transcribe handwritten 17th-19th century documents relating to Maine’s land history.
Monkey Health Explorer teaches volunteers to identify and count white blood cells in a population of rhesus macaque monkeys on the island of Cayo Santiago in Puerto Rico.
Explore all the projects here. You can have students contribute to project(s) related to your discipline or course as an in-class event, as a component of an individual study, or as an alternative way to earn a participation grade. How might you teach in the Zooniverse?