See more from this Session: Experiential Learning and Action Education: II
Monday, October 17, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
Experiential learning falls under a number of learning options to include internships, field work, simulations, demonstrations, case studies, and service learning. Regardless of the type experiential experience, learning can be facilitated with a framework of questions. These questions, when developed around project objectives, facilitate spatial thinking and reasoning, which is at the core of data analysis across all disciplines and subsequently can form the foundation of a GIS analysis. A spatial learning framework is a set of questions that are broad, specific with regards to patterns and distributions and focus on limits and constraints. An initiative was launched in 2008 that focused on creating an experiential learning environment in a newly designed GIS course, which was open to all students. GIS projects have not only been developed for the environmental sciences, but also for environmental health, homeland security, education, political science, marketing, geology, urban planning, wildlife management, and geography. Regardless of the project, spatial questions are developed and become the focus of the analysis. Such an approach can be integrated into all forms of experiential learning and is useful for visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners. A framework of general spatial questions, specific examples of GIS projects and types of experiential opportunities will be presented.