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Instructional Development Award Recipients

Several undergraduate instructors who attended the 2004 SPACE workshops were awarded funds to continue their efforts in integrating spatial analysis into their course curriculums. These pages showcase their achievements. See the full recipient list.

Kathleen Bell

Affiliation: Resource Economics and Policy, University of Maine
Workshop Attended: GIS and Spatial Modeling for Use in Undergraduate Education
Accomplishment: Altered a course on Resource Economics by adding independent student projects and spatial thinking using GIS and spatial statistics.

Notable Achievements in Her Own Words

The Ohio State faculty members involved in the workshop were extremely enthusiastic and served as excellent role models for spatial social science instructors.
Kathleen Bell

I teach an applied GIS course titled "Resource Economics and Policy Applications of GIS." My primary instructional goal is to help students develop spatial thinking skills. When teaching this course, I focus on how spatial thinking and data may contribute to the study of social, environmental, and natural resource policy issues. Students are expected to master basic GIS skills and are encouraged to do so in the context of the discipline of resource economics and policy. By providing students with a specific motivation for using spatial analysis tools, I strive to establish a dynamic and creative learning environment. The 2004 SPACE Workshop on GIS and Spatial Modeling helped me dramatically improve this learning environment.

The workshop was extremely helpful, giving me the confidence to make these revisions and offering tools for assessing the results of such revisions. The Ohio State faculty members involved in the workshop were extremely enthusiastic and served as excellent role models for spatial social science instructors. Moreover, my interactions with faculty from other universities provided valuable insights and lessons. I very much appreciated the ability to compare notes with other faculty on teaching strategies. In fact, I have continued to interact with some of the faculty since the workshop.

After attending the workshop, I revised my course syllabus in two ways. First, I altered the grading structure and computer laboratory sessions to emphasize independent student projects. Second, I modified lectures to stress spatial thinking and strengthen the academic context of the GIS and spatial statistics instruction. I have no doubt that the increased emphasis on student projects dramatically improved my course. In addition, I believe there were some returns from modifying my lectures and readings. However, greater returns from these types of changes are possible and therefore these types of adaptations will be the focus of my course revisions this year.

Course Materials

I have provided my revised syllabus and several examples of student projects. I believe the student projects speak for themselves and are evidence of my achievement in meeting my instructional goals.

Future Participation

I will attend the 2005 Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management Conference hosted by the Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London. The conference has 6 themes related to the use of computers in urban planning: networks, mobility, urbanization, planning support, new media, and spatial simulations. All 6 themes relate to the use of GIS and spatial thinking, and the conference is designed to stress recent applications. I believe my exposure to these applications will benefit my course development tremendously.

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