DIY Geography Education Online: a practical guide to cognitive principles

Authors: Jeff Howarth*, Middlebury College, Richard E. Mayer, UC Santa Barbara
Topics: Geography Education, Cartography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Geography education, cognition, cartography
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Roosevelt 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


We present an online resource to help educators apply theories in cognitive science to the design of online instruction and blended learning in cartography and geography. The DIY GEO website identifies instructor dilemmas, or decisions that educators frequently need to make while developing a course or learning module. The dilemmas are organized around four general tasks of instructional design: planning content, presenting information, developing practice, and providing feedback. Each dilemma points to a principle from evidence-based theories in cognitive science. Examples from cartography and geography lessons provide concrete illustrations of the principles. In two ways, the website can be used to help connect practical problems in cartography and geography education to theoretical problems in cognitive science. First, educators can use this resource to develop hypothesis-driven instructional designs, or methods of teaching that should work in principle and can be tested through practice. This is particularly helpful for young faculty in departments without teaching mentors. Second, experienced teachers can use this resource to reflect on the possible reasons that some teaching methods have worked in the past and provide examples of principles discovered through practice.

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