Experiential Learning

GEOG 455 - Theoretical and Applied GIS

Geog 455 is technically a capstone course about advanced issues in GIS. It is also a unique foray into experiential learning. Students work in teams on real life projects from conceptualization to creating methods to implementation and mapping. At the end of the course, the students create a scientific report as well as website to convey the results of their project to their “client”. Clients range from government agencies to research groups to municipalities. In 2018, we had six projects. One sought to understand spatial differences in uptake and use of medical crowdfunding. This project resulted in a paper that is currently under submission in an academic journal: https://alyshav.com/chrp/. Another project mapped “playability” across three communities in Metro Vancouver: http://www.sfu.ca/geog/geog455_2018/Playability/.

All of the projects took students into new spaces and places and encouraged them to work with community members to collect and analyse spatial data, map it and ultimately communicate the results.