Curriculum Development and 'Enterprise': group work, resource-based learning and the incorporation of transferable skills into a first year practical course 
MICK HEALEY, Coventry Polytechnic
This paper begins by outlining some recent initiatives to encourage the incorporation of 'enterprise skills' in British higher education and discusses the response of the academic community Geographers are at the forefront of these developments. The second part of the paper illustrates how a first year practical course in geography was redesigned into a set of largely resource-based group projects which incorporate many of the personal transferable skills emphasised in the various enterprise initiatives. It is concluded that the inclusion of enterprise skills is relevant to geography courses, but they are best integrated into mainline courses rather than taught as separate courses.
Evaluating a Major Innovation in Higher Education: the NCGIA Core Curriculum in GIS
KAREN K. KEMP & FIONA M. GOODCHILD, University of California
As part of its original mandate, the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis conducted a major project in curriculum development for a sequence of introductory courses in Geographic Information Systems. The Core Curriculum project, introduced in an earlier paper, included a year-long evaluation by an international group of educators. This paper describes the objectives, components and outcome of this evaluation programme. The programme culminated in the preparation of the revised final version which is now being acquired by agencies and institutions around the world.
Some Applications of Murphy's Law: using computers for geography practical teaching
ROBIN FLOWERDEW, University of Lancaster
ANDREW LOVETT, University of East Anglia
We have used computers in geography practicals for several years and our efforts in this direction have helped us isolate several new applications of Murphy's Law. We review some of our discoveries in the areas of classroom demonstrations and hands-on practicals, in terms of hardware, software and 'liveware'. In general, we share others' enthusiasm for using computers in teaching, but we are convinced that such usage will normally be liable to subversion by Murphy's Law. Teaching using computers is harder because of the need for careful presentation and contingency planning and the necessity to improvise when Murphy's Law strikes!
Teaching Spatial Statistics to Geographers Using MINITAB
DANIEL A. GRIFFITH, Syracuse University
This paper surveys computer software for spatial statistics, emphasising its educational advantages. Initially this software was written in FORTRAN code accessing the International Mathematical and Statistics Library (IMSL) package of commercial subroutines (a counterpart to the NAG package in the United Kingdom). Accompanying programming skills proved too demanding for many geography students and staff. Consequently, spatial statistics analysis was approached within the context of standard commercial software packages. MINITAB was explored, first in its PC and then in its mainframe versions. Unfamiliarity of North American geographers with this package led to parallel code development for the popular statistical software package, SAS. Practices and pitfalls of these endeavours with regard to classroom situations are reported. A demonstration of MINITAB-PC 7.2 code is presented. Real world examples are drawn from experiences of postgraduate-level spatial statistics classes both in studying the code and in developing a mainframe counterpart to its PC version. A benchmark example comparing this code with that of SAS and FORTRAN accessing IMSL is treated. Finally, present work concerning a supercomputing module is outlined.
Local Economic Impact Modelling: TIEBOUT, tourism and training
LEX CHALMERS, University of Waikato
GEOFF WALL, University of Waterloo
This paper describes the use of a sophisticated computer model in university teaching. TIEBOUT is a PC-based program which assesses the economic impacts of expenditure in National Parks. The program has been used extensively by Parks Canada, but it has had even greater use as a teaching tool at the University of Waterloo. The paper documents the development, features and use of the TIEBOUT model, and then outlines the way students were asked to conceptualise, execute and comment on various scenarios using the model. The real world basis of the model, and the elegance of its formulation, allowed some fundamental concepts in the operation of multipliers to be fully explored. The final section of the paper reports on student and instructor evaluations of the TIEBOUT teaching program.
Page created 16 November 1997