Public Lab Research note

How many people to do an activity?

by warren | November 30, 2016 21:55 30 Nov 21:55 | #13734 | #13734

Hi, all - in the Activities (#activity-grids) session of the #barnraising, we briefly (among many other great topics) talked about the different kinds of activities people do (and we could/should provide guides to) across PL -- and one really relevant question that stuck out to me was:

How many people does it take to do this activity?

or conversely,

How many people can do this activity together?

I loved this question and would like to take a small next step by adding "# of people" as one thing listed on our activity grids, alongside such difficult-to-define columns as "difficulty" (a can of worms we need to open!)

What do folks think about this?


Great questions indeed. I think it is quite relevant especially if you think about the different parts of Public Lab practice, i.e. the distributed research and development (tools and technique development), the on-the-ground site research, and outreach and education. Being mostly engaged in the latter, I would link these questions to the two braod aspects of outreach/engagement: first, how many people does it take to plan and set-up for the event (good to know to avoid stress and facilitator burn-out) and how many people can do this activity to have meaningful interactions (both minimum and maximum numbers). I think these are great questions and PL practitioners can share their tacit knowledge and experiences on these - as I think many of us have asked these but haven't actively documented it.

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Great idea, Jeff. This is an especially helpful field for PL activities like balloon mapping and kite mapping - which require multiple people and hands.

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