Assessment and Evaluation of GIScience Curriculum using the Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge

Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Volume 33, Issue S1 2009 , pages S46 – S69

Steven D. Prager; Brandon Plewe

“Academic institutions are increasingly being held accountable for the quality of education which is, in turn, leading to an increased emphasis on curriculum assessment. This is especially true of geographic information science & technology (GIS&T), in which a rapidly growing profession demands that educational programs produce highly qualified graduates. In response to these demands, the University Consortium of Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) has developed the Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge, to identify the broad spectrum of knowledge, skills and techniques that make up the GIS&T domain. An intended use of this document is to support the development and assessment of GIS&T curricula. The authors address the potential benefits of using the Body of Knowledge through an evaluation of the learning objectives and curriculum of sample courses at two universities. They find that the Body of Knowledge enables robust specification of objectives and curricula, and provides the platform for reproducible and consistent evaluation of both curriculum and, ultimately, student outcomes. It is also flexible in allowing programmes to evaluate curricula based on their own goals and missions, rather than against a single standard curriculum.”