An Open Workbook for Introductory GIS Courses

Authors: Carl Sack*, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
Topics: Education , Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Education, Teaching, GIS, Open Educational Resources
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 36
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


GIS is not just a trade skill. Today’s geography students must learn how to use GIS software no matter where their subfield interests might lie. However, despite decades of scholarship around GIS pedagogy, the instructional resources currently available for active learning of GIS are largely built on cookbook-style tutorials using canned datasets with little relevance to most students’ interests. This approach does not support skill transfer to real-world spatial or mapping problems students may encounter after they close the tutorial. Textbook cost is an added burden, with the average American student debt load now topping $30,000 on graduation. This talk will introduce a new, Open Educational Resource-based GIS workbook that aims to provide a project-agnostic introduction to Esri ArcGIS Pro software. Workbook lessons can be applied by an instructor or the learner themselves to setting-relevant datasets. The book uses a problem-based learning approach built around the Stages of Action Model to promote transferability of the covered concepts and skills. The workbook is still in the initial writing stage. This talk will cover progress made so far as well as future plans for expansion, peer review, and extension to other GIS software platforms.

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