Where in the World is Geographic Education? An examination of the spaces and places of learning

 

Presentation Given At: American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2016

 

Presenters: Dr. Derek Turner, Dr. Arthur “Gill” Green, Dr. Loch Brown

 

Date Presented: March 30, 2016

 

Link: http://meridian.aag.org/callforpapers/program/AbstractDetail.cfm?AbstractID=74982

 

Abstract:

This research examines where and how students interact with learning technologies that are proliferating in geographical education. Changes in the way we use technology in our daily lives, coupled with the wide adoption of online learning management systems by higher education institutions since the 1990s, has cause a ground shift in student learning. These technologies offer students flexibility in how, what, where, when and with whom he or she participates in learning-related activities. Despite this potential, there is a paucity of research on the “where” and “when” elements – mostly focusing instead on campus-based, technology-rich learning spaces rather than the increasing opportunities mobility provides for teaching and learning. This mobility provides new modalities for interacting with course materials, other learners and experiential learning opportunities. It also raises questions about whether flexible learning is fulfilling its promise to enhance access through expanding the geography of learning. After all, where and when learning occurs influences how activities engage the affective, cognitive, and psychomotor learning domains, and are important questions for the discipline of geography where fieldwork and other experiential learning is emphasized. In this research, we use learning analytics, web analytics, surveys, field observation, and semi-structured interviews to examine the places (e.g. home, campus, transport, public areas) and spaces (e.g. distances to university, spatial clustering of students) in which flexible learning occurs, and offer ways to leverage this knowledge to enhance geographic pedagogy.

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