Active and experiential learning in GIS: reflections from a community college program

Authors: Mark Guizlo*, Lakeland Community College
Topics: Geography Education, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Careers and professional development
Keywords: active learning, experiential learning, service learning, problem-based learning, GIS, geospatial technology, geography education, professional development, community colleges, two-year colleges, GTCM
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Studio 4, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


I address the role of active and experiential learning for students in a community college GIS program based on the US Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM). The GTCM’s emphasis on technical and professional skills has benefits for students entering the geospatial field, but the roles of active and experiential learning are not as well defined in the GTCM.

How are active and experiential learning best integrated into a two-year geospatial program? How can students use active and experiential learning to support their academic and professional development?

Active and experiential learning are distinct and overlapping approaches that are especially relevant to students starting out in the geospatial industry. Such students face a steep learning curve with a complex and changing job market that demands work experience, professional skills, technological expertise, and a command of the personal attributes needed for success in a career. In this paper, I reflect on lessons learned in a two-year geospatial program with a growing emphasis on active learning, in concert with experiential learning practices.

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