A holistic GIS education framework

Authors: Paddington Hodza*, Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center, Margo Berendsen, Wyoming Geographic Information Science, Jeffrey Hamerlinck, Wyoming Geographic Information Science
Topics: Education , Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: GIS learning, classroom assessment, spatial thinking, formative assessment, summative assessment
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 36
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


GIS education is essential to successfully handle complex geospatial data; develop spatial thinking skills that contribute to academic success in many fields; create spatially competent communities able to develop sustainable solutions for a variety of location-based issues; and fulfill the growing demand for spatial knowledge and skills in the fast expanding and advancing geospatial industry. Many departments like geography, history, public health, archaeology and environmental science across U.S. colleges and universities currently offer one or more types of GIS courses, and similar courses such as ‘Introduction to GIS’ typically differ in content, emphasis, division levels, learning outcomes and other factors. The learning objectives of these courses are commonly framed in the cognitive domain according to Bloom et al. (1956)’s taxonomy. This study recognizes that learning also takes place in affective and psychomotor domains, and crafts a holistic framework that situates GIS education within the three-dimensional space described by interfacing the three domains. Using compelling examples from extensive literature, the study discusses how learning GIS is achieved through complementary thinking, feeling and doing activities related to the different domains. The framework offers great promise to guide development and delivery of GIS courses that explicitly engage important modalities of learning other than cognitive.

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