Teaching and Learning Pedagogies in Higher Education Geographic Information Science

  • Shivanand BalramEmail author
Part of the Advances in Geographic Information Science book series (AGIS)


Geographic information science (GIScience) has evolved into an almost universally applicable body of knowledge and can be found in the curriculum of a wide range of disciplines. In the teaching and learning of GIScience, the traditional lecture-based pedagogies and the newer experiential learning pedagogies are the primary approaches. In this study, a background review was conducted focusing on the experiential pedagogies used to teach and learn GIScience in higher education contexts. However, given the complex learning needs of the modern university student, it may be that neither lecture-based nor experiential learning alone would be effective, and they need to be combined in innovative ways to enhance student learning. Consequently, this study provides higher education instructors with an overview of multiple pedagogies that can be used in various combinations to motivate and engage students in a flexible learning process.


Experiential learning Flexible learning GIScience Pedagogy 


  1. Baker, T. R., Battersby, S., Bednarz, S. W., Bodzin, A. M., Kolvoord, B., Moore, S., et al. (2015). A research agenda for geospatial technologies and learning. Journal of Geography, 114(3), 118–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balram, S., & Dragicevic, S. (2005). An embedded collaborative systems model for implementing ICT-based multimedia cartography teaching and learning. In S. Mishra & R. C. Sharma (Eds.), Interactive multimedia in education and training (pp. 306–326). Hershey: Idea Group Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Balram, S., & Dragicevic, S. (2008). Collaborative spaces for GIS-based multimedia cartography in blended environments. Computers & Education, 50(1), 371–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burrows, J., Bodzin, A., Anastasio, D., Sahagian, D., Bressler, D., Cirucci, L., et al. (2013). Using web GIS to enhance tectonics learning and geospatial thinking. Science Scope, 37(4), 29–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clark, A. M., Monk, J., & Yool, S. R. (2007). GIS pedagogy, web-based learning and student achievement. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 31(2), 225–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Doerr, N. M. (2013). Do ‘global citizens’ need the parochial cultural other? Discourse of immersion in study abroad and learning-by-doing. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 43(2), 224–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Drennon, C. (2005). Teaching geographic information systems in a problem-based learning environment. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 29(3), 385–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Elwood, S., & Wilson, M. (2017). Critical GIS pedagogies beyond ‘Week 10: Ethics’. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 31(10), 2098–2116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gordon, E., Elwood, S., & Mitchell, K. (2016). Critical spatial learning: Participatory mapping, spatial histories, and youth civic engagement. Children's Geographies, 14(5), 558–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hupy, J. P., Aldrich, S. P., Schaetzl, R. J., Varnakovida, P., Arima, E. Y., Bookout, J. R., et al. (2005). Mapping soils, vegetation, and landforms: An integrative physical geography field experience. The Professional Geographer, 57(3), 438–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. King, E. (2008). Can PBL-GIS work online. Journal of Geography, 107(2), 43–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kinniburgh, J. (2010). A constructivist approach to using GIS in the New Zealand classroom. New Zealand Geographer, 66(1), 74–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Solari, O. M., & Schee, J. (Eds.). (2015). Geospatial technologies and geographic education in a changing world: Geospatial practices and leassons learned. Tokyo: Springer.Google Scholar
  14. Tate, N. J., & Jarvis, C. H. (2017). Changing the face of GIS education with communities of practice. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 41(3), 327–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Unwin, D. J., Foote, K. E., Tate, N. J., & DiBiase, D. (Eds.). (2011). Teaching geographic information science and technology in higher education. Chicester: Wiley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

Personalised recommendations