Integrating peer review and portfolio into a hybrid GIS course

Poster Session Part of Friday Poster Session


Yongli Gao, The University of Texas at San Antonio
The "Introduction to Geographical Information System (GIS)" course was offered as a traditional in-person course at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). The course is an introduction to the basic theory, design and practical applications of GIS in a multidisciplinary context with hands-on environment. Key concepts such as location, distance, units, projections, datums and GIS data formats were introduced during the course. Students are expected to master the key components of the GIS environment and gain adequate proficiency in data acquisition, display and analysis of vector and raster data, manipulation of map projections, and most importantly use GIS to address various real-world problems that involve space and location as a central variable. Since hands-on practice of GIS is an essential part of the class, it was difficult to have students fully engaged when the class was taught online during the COVID-19 pandemic period. The course was re-designed in a hybrid mode in 2022, meaning although most course content was available asynchronously, there were weekly in-person sessions that were important portions of the learning experience. Student-led discussions and peer reviews were implemented during the second half the semester to motivate students to develop ideas, share resources, and apply what they learned in class to the course project. These activities have helped students develop their personal GIS skills portfolio that may prove very useful for academic growth and career development.