KiteSite has been designed as a tool to support biodiversity training at the University of Reading. The app can be used in any module in any School for data collection by any number of students. The app has been designed to record basic, generic information about a sighting on Whiteknights campus of any organism. It therefore replaces the paper recording sheet traditionally used for fieldwork data collection.
Time, date and geolocation data are automatically recorded meaning that the first piece of data captured is a photograph of the specimen. The subsequent data headings can be filled in to the level of knowledge known about the organism (Organism group, Common name, Species name). They can be completed with all known information if the recorder has some idea of the identity of the organism or left blank if the organism can't be identified. A confidence rating is asked for at the end of the data sheet which can be used for confirmation of correct identification. A notes section has also been included to provide a space to record any further information about the sighting.
Two sections of the data form have been customised to allow for groups to add their 'Project Code' and for individual recorders to identify themselves with a unique 'User code' (e.g. their student number). This allows for easy data extraction from a single teaching excursion and for students to submit their own data for assessment. The Whiteknights Biodiversity blog also provides an opportunity for students to comment on their experience of biodiversity training and recording at Reading as well as document interesting findings.
The data are stored in a central database which is publically available and constantly updated. These data can be used in a multitude of ways to support teaching & learning; for example, they can be analysed to ensure that the students made correct species identifications; time series data can be examined for temporal patterns; spatial data can reveal species movements across campus; phenology data can be examined etc. As the database grows, these data will become a valuable record of campus biodiversity.
Please add to this resource and do get in touch if you would like to discuss ways to integrate the use of this app and the database in your teaching. A class set of mobile devices (10 ipad minis and 5 Google Nexus 7s) is also available to borrow to support the use of this app in fieldwork teaching.