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Thursday, May 15 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Using Google Dynamic Maps for Enriching Cooperative Learning Experiences

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Human Geography 302 is an online, self-paced, undergraduate, three-credit course in human geography offered at Athabasca University. It is suitable for students who are interested in the vast geography, culture and sustainable development of Canada’s North. Regardless of the rich and diverse content of the course, students tend to focus their attention on a small geographical area they select to conduct their work, but do not expand their learning experience to other areas. However, this course was completely redesigned recently. The use of Google dynamic maps, which is one of the most significant new elements integrated in the course, aims to diversify and enrich students’ learning.

Coordinated by tutors and based on cooperative learning strategies, students across groups use and share the same online dynamic map to post assignments produced throughout the course. These assignments reflect the central discussions in the course and let students integrate a multidisciplinary analysis of a particular geographical area. Instructions for assignments are designed so that students’ outcomes are different from one another’s. There is a public approval process for assignments in which tutors ensure the focus and perspective of a student’s assignment differs from those of other students. In this way assignments shared publicly don’t pose any opportunity for copying or cheating. The approval process involves having students reading and analyzing assignments submitted previously. This cooperative learning strategy aims to expand, diversify and enrich students’ learning experience. It also provides students with an excellent opportunity for learning from one another.


Of Interest to: Online and distance education, Post-secondary education, K-12 educators, Instructional designers, Educational technologists

avatar for Luis Guadarrama

Luis Guadarrama

Learning Designer, Centre for Learning Design and Development, Athabasca University
luisg@athabascau.ca (Work) luismx66@gmail.com (Personal) Luis Guadarrama completed his MA Educational Technology at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Working in Mexican and Canadian universities, Guadarrama is currently a Learning Designer at Athabasca University, where... Read More →

Thursday May 15, 2014 1:30pm - 2:30pm PDT
Campus Activity Centre, CAC 348 900 McGill Road, Kamloops, BC, Canada V2C 0C8

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