Course Redesign with Technology ePortfolio: GSP 101

A Promising Practices Course Redesign at Humboldt State University

by Nicolas R. Malloy


In the spring of 2010, the Humboldt State University Geospatial Task Force was formed to improve the geospatial curriculum. The group was assigned to develop an effective series of Geospatial courses that would serve students across multiple programs. Multiple areas of redundancy were identified across the different specializations within the geospatial curriculum, including Cartography, Geographic Information Systems, and Remote Sensing. Each of these courses share a similar set of fundamental concepts related to the geospatial sciences. Geospatial Concepts serves as a gateway course for the remainder of the Geospatial Curriculum. The course topics include the history and fundamental concepts common among all the geospatial sciences. In addition, the course covers introductory material and techniques specific to each geospatial discipline that follows. The result is an information-dense course that establishes a strong foundation moving forward. Relieved of the necessity to cover introductory material, subsequent courses have been free to shift upward in content, technique, and application. Since the implementation of Geospatial Concepts as a gateway course, a measurable level of improvement and sophistication in later courses has been observed.