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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: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 10:15 AM / 11:30 AM
Room: Virtual Track 1
Presentation Link: Open in New Window
Presentation File: Download

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 done in past research, no longer captures a representative sample of introductory undergraduate GIS course takers where geography majors are now the minority. Within this body of research, relatively little has been published concerning introductory GIS students, their motivations, perspectives, and instructional needs.

Over the past year, introductory undergraduate GIS courses at two institutions were studied collecting data through classroom observations, interviews, questionnaires, and focus groups. The interests, motivations, learning strategies, and overall course experiences of the students were analyzed both quantitatively, through standardized questionnaires, and qualitatively, through focus groups. Insights learned from the preliminary analysis of this student research will be shared.

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