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Offering “Introduction To Geographic Information Systems”, Including Laboratory Sessions, Using A Combination Of Distance Learning And Distance Teaching Techniques

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Conference

2005 Annual Conference

Location

Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Innovation in Curriculum Development

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

10.969.1 - 10.969.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/15613

Download Count

24

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Paper Authors

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Susan Coleman

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Hisham Alnajjar

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Hesham Elsaghir

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Alan Hadad

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Donald Leone

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Teaching Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, Including Laboratory Sessions, using a Combination of Distance Learning and Distance Teaching Techniques.

Donald Leone, Alan Hadad, Susan Coleman Hisham Alnajjar, Hesham Elsaghir

University of Hartford

Abstract

The primary objective of this project was to teach sophomore engineering students the fundamental concepts of geographic information systems (GIS), but with the teacher and students in different locations.

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems is a 2 credit half semester course with 6 contact hours including 3 hours of laboratory work. At a weekly scheduled time and place, the students asembled to listen to a 1 hour pre-recorded (with audio) PowerPoint lecture. The lecture was followed by a 15 minute chat session, featuring live audio/video, to answer questions and clarify concepts. Homework and laboratory reports were completed by the students outside the class room, on their own time, and submitted to the instructor via e-mail, graded and returned the same way. Blackboard, e-mail, and the telephone were used as communication devices.

Analysis of homework and lab grades indicates that 3 out of 4 course objectives (see figure 1) were comfortably met. Grades associated with the fourth objective, involving a term project, showed that the attainment of objective 4 was uncertain. The students indicated that breaking down the term project into manageable parts would have been helpful. Overall, considering student and instructor evaluations, considerable learning did take place.

Introduction

The primary objective of this project was to create a distance learning course module to teach undergraduate engineering students the fundamental concepts of geographic information systems (GIS). A GIS can be defined as “A fundamental set of automated ideas and concepts rooted in over 2500 years of exploration and geographic research, and designed to provide the answers to questions based on mapped data.”1 A secondary, but important objective, involved the preparation and delivery of this course as a learning laboratory for future distance learning endeavors. With the exception of this course, the University of Hartford’s College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture (CETA) has no course that qualifies as a distance learning course. This is not to suggest that every course the College offers should be set up in a distance learning mode. In fact, there are probably only a few courses that can, or should, be offered in that format at this time. That is why the College needed to experiment with this new

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Coleman, S., & Alnajjar, H., & Elsaghir, H., & Hadad, A., & Leone, D. (2005, June), Offering “Introduction To Geographic Information Systems”, Including Laboratory Sessions, Using A Combination Of Distance Learning And Distance Teaching Techniques Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/15613

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