Using cognitive measures to predict the achievement of students enrolled in an introductory course of geographic information systems

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Title: Using cognitive measures to predict the achievement of students enrolled in an introductory course of geographic information systems
Author: Vincent, Paul C.
Abstract: The cognitive factors of spatial ability , human -computer interaction , problem solving ability , and geographic attitude have been recognized as relevant to teaching and learning GIS . The goal of this research was to examine these cognitive abilities in university students taking an introductory course in GIS ; examine any changes in these abilities after completing the class ; and examine the relationship between those abilities and the students ? ? grades in the class . It was hypothesized that students with higher cognitive ability scores would have higher grades than students with lower cognitive ability scores . Nine different self -report surveys were used to assess the students ? ? spatial , computer , problem solving , and geographic cognitive abilities . The surveys were administered at the beginning and end of the two academic semesters . Analysis of the students ? ? scores revealed a significant improvement on four of the nine cognitive ability surveys ; one that measured computer experience and three that measured spatial ability . Bivariate correlations and multiple regression analyses were used to measure the relationship between the students ? ? scores on the cognitive ability surveys and the students ? ? grades . Students received grades on lecture exams , lab exercises , individual projects , and an overall grade . Only two of the bivariate correlations were statistically significant : the factors of geography attitude and learning style were significantly correlated with the students ? ? project grade . Multiple regression analysis also revealed a very weak relationship , explaining less than 20 percent of the variance between the scores on the cognitive ability surveys and the students ? ? lecture grade , lab grade , and overall grade . However , a much stronger relationship , explaining more than 45 % of the variance , existed between the cognitive ability surveys and the students ? ? project grade . These findings suggest that cognitive processes utilized for traditional classroom learning to pass lecture exams are different than those utilized to learn the software skills necessary to complete a GIS project . Therefore , it was concluded that the cognitive ability scores are poor predictors of grades related to traditional classroom learning such as lecture exams ; however , these scores are more useful as predictors of the grades on a GIS project .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /3349
Date: 2006-04-12

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Using cognitive measures to predict the achievement of students enrolled in an introductory course of geographic information systems. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /3349 .

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