Enabling Scientific Research Skills in Undergraduate Students During a Spatial Modeling Course
Scientific research skills can be a valuable asset for undergraduate students pursuing spatial modeling and geographic information science courses. These skills provide students with a systematic means to think critically, solve complex geospatial problems, and contribute in meaningful ways to the scientific knowledge creation and dissemination process. In this study, targeted changes are described for an upper-division undergraduate spatial modeling course where students were guided through all the stages of the scientific research process. Students then developed geospatial solutions to real-world problems and communicated their results at a real scientific conference. Based on anonymous student feedback, the experience was perceived to be rewarding and the research skills gained to be a lifelong asset.
KeywordsSpatial modeling Geosimulation GIS Scientific research skills Undergraduate students
This project was fully funded by a Simon Fraser University (SFU) Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG) awarded to the first author. The authors thank Angela McLean and Laura D’Amico from the Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines (ISTLD), SFU, for their valuable guidance during the project development and implementation. Special thanks to Dr. Brent Hall of Esri Canada for making possible the students’ attendance and poster presentations at the 2015 Esri User conference in Vancouver, Canada.
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