Resource Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title Integrating Technology and Collaborative Pedagogies into Introductory Human Geography
Originator Susan W. Hardwick1 and Elizabeth Renfro2
Department 1Department of Geography and Planning, Universtiy of Southwest Texas State, San Marcos, Texas, 786666
2Department of Geography and Planning and Co-Coordinators, University Literacy and Learning Program, California State University, Chico 95929-0425
Tel. +1 512-245-1724
Fax +1 512-245-8353
E-mail and

The primary aim of this innovation is to integrate web-based instruction with student-centered, collaborative instructional methods into a general education introductory Human Geography course. Typically a large enrolment class, Human Geography attracts numerous students who are not planning to major in geography as their field of emphasis. Therefore, the methods listed below not only enhance student mastery of course concepts but are also designed to motivate non-majors to consider geography as a major. Students enrolled in this class are also trained in applying geographic skills and techniques and to "think like geographers" who can employ critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

This fifteen week "model classroom" integrates the following blend of technology and collaborative pedagogy throughout the semester: web-based research projects; team journals and formal written reports; weekly e-mail discussion questions answered in pairs or individually; video reaction papers integrating text assignments, WWW homepage data; and in-class visual presentations; speculative writing assignments and debate of current global issues disseminated to student groups via e-mail and "chat group" software.

This is not a voluntary student participation project. All students enrolled in the course must have e-mail addresses and be web-literate to participate.

Minimal technological training is provided to students in the first two weeks of the semester to ensure their full participation.


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Page created 21 April 1997
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