Moving your course to distance learning

03-16-2020 12:08 PM
Esri Notable Contributor
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Teaching online entails more than recording face-to-face content and placing it in an online environment.  Pedagogical shifts need to take place while keeping student learning, course goals, and program objectives at the forefront.  Fortunately, GIS has a 20-year history of online education, so there are successful models to follow.   Advice for teaching online is widely available, and selected resources are below.   And although designing a online course takes time and planning, don’t try to design a perfect online course right now.  Focus on what is essential. Realize that many students will access materials on their phones and with limited internet, so videos may not be practical.  Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

Selected guidelines about teaching online: 


Recent advice about placing your courses online in light of the health emergency: 


Resources for converting to online courses from several universities: 


Lessons learned from years of online teaching, from Muki Haklay, University College London: 


Brief guidance from Inside Higher Ed: 

For more tools, books, data, and other instructional resources, see attached.  Updated 20 March 2020. 

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About the Author
I believe that spatial thinking can transform education and society through the application of Geographic Information Systems for instruction, research, administration, and policy. I hold 3 degrees in Geography, have served at NOAA, the US Census Bureau, and USGS as a cartographer and geographer, and teach a variety of F2F (Face to Face) (including T3G) and online courses. I have authored a variety of books and textbooks about the environment, STEM, GIS, and education. These include "Interpreting Our World", "Essentials of the Environment", "Tribal GIS", "The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data", "International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning with GIS In Secondary Education", "Spatial Mathematics" and others. I write for 2 blogs, 2 monthly podcasts, and a variety of journals, and have created over 5,000 videos on the Our Earth YouTube channel. Yet, as time passes, the more I realize my own limitations and that this is a lifelong learning endeavor and thus I actively seek mentors and collaborators.