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Exploring the effects of GIS learning on students' spatial skills /

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Exploring the effects of GIS learning on students' spatial skills /

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Publication Information:
Zhang, Zhihan
Hong Kong : The Education University of Hong Kong
Learning to think spatially is one of the eternal themes of geography education. These kinds of skills enable students to interpret geographic data in the subject and help them comprehend the complexities of spatial problems we face today. In the past thirty years, GIS (Geography Information System) has become a promising technology for educational uses in geography due to its unique advantages in visualization, overlaying maps, and analyzing spatial data. With rapid development in technology today, GIS skills are gradually stressed in geography and the workforce. Based upon these trends, the research emphasizes the significance of spatial skills as an amalgam of two elements: spatial thinking skills as soft skills and GIS skills as hard skills. This research incorporates GIS into a geography inquiry named "Where does wild ginseng grow in Jilin Province." A test on spatial skills is used to examine the effect of GIS learning on the spatial skills of university students. Twenty students in EdUHK completed pre- and post-tests before and after the two-hour workshop. Analysis of changes in the student's test scores revealed that the GIS workshop helped students with mastering GIS skills in a short period. In contrast, no significant improvements in spatial thinking skills were observed. The enhancement of GIS skills resulted from motivating inquiry questions, hands-on experiences, detailed explanations of functions, and a case-study-based site suitability analysis. However, the lesson design needs questions encouraging spatial thinking and reflection that contribute to critical thinking. And since the workshop lasted for a short period, no sufficient learning experiences exist to foster better spatial thinking skills. The findings of this study emphasized the vital role of instructional design in making the most of GIS and provided practical suggestions for planning inquiry-based GIS lessons
Call Number:
LG51.H43 hp BEd(Geo) 2023eb Zhangz
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