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Gulland, E.-K.; Veenendaal, B.; Schut, A. G. T. (2012)
Publisher: Copernicus Publications
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: TA1-2040, T, TA1501-1820, Applied optics. Photonics, Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General), Technology

Classified by OpenAIRE into

ACM Ref: ComputingMilieux_COMPUTERSANDEDUCATION
Problem-solving knowledge and skills are an important attribute of spatial sciences graduates. The challenge of higher education is to build a teaching and learning environment that enables students to acquire these skills in relevant and authentic applications. This study investigates the effectiveness of traditional face-to-face teaching and online learning technologies in supporting the student learning of problem-solving and computer programming skills, techniques and solutions. The student cohort considered for this study involves students in the surveying as well as geographic information science (GISc) disciplines. Also, students studying across a range of learning modes including on-campus, distance and blended, are considered in this study. Student feedback and past studies reveal a lack of student interest and engagement in problem solving and computer programming. Many students do not see such skills as directly relevant and applicable to their perceptions of what future spatial careers hold. A range of teaching and learning methods for both face-to-face teaching and distance learning were introduced to address some of the perceived weaknesses of the learning environment. These included initiating greater student interaction in lectures, modifying assessments to provide greater feedback and student accountability, and the provision of more interactive and engaging online learning resources. The paper presents and evaluates the teaching methods used to support the student learning environment. Responses of students in relation to their learning experiences were collected via two anonymous, online surveys and these results were analysed with respect to student pass and retention rates. The study found a clear distinction between expectations and engagement of surveying students in comparison to GISc students. A further outcome revealed that students who were already engaged in their learning benefited the most from the interactive learning resources and opportunities provided.
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