Undergraduate Perspectives on Introductory GIS Courses

Authors: Christopher Krause*, University of South Carolina
Topics: Geography Education, Higher Education, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: GIS education, student perspectives
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 4:55 PM / 6:10 PM
Room: Spruce, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Majestic Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


As colleges and universities are expanding their GIS course offerings, the teaching of geospatial technology ought to be critically evaluated. This need has been amplified as GIS courses have increasingly become multidisciplinary.

Surveying the perspectives of geography majors, as past research as done, no longer captures a representative sample of introductory undergraduate GIS course takers where geography majors are now the minority. When evaluating GIS courses, the perspectives of all students should be considered.

Over the past year, introductory undergraduate GIS courses at three institutions were studied collecting data through classroom observations, interviews, questionnaires, and focus groups. Perspectives of the professors as well as their students were considered. In this presentation, insights learned from the preliminary analysis of student perspectives will be shared. The interests, motivations, learning strategies, and overall course experiences of the students were analyzed both quantitatively, through standardized questionnaires, and qualitatively, through focus groups.

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