Crossing SSH and STEM approaches in a MapDesign course using open data and software

Cannata, Massimiliano and Profeta, Giovanni and Voegeli, Michela and Lüscher, Manuel and Morandi, Laura (2018) Crossing SSH and STEM approaches in a MapDesign course using open data and software. UNSPECIFIED. PeerJ Preprints. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper presents the design, realization and evaluation of a Map Design course conducted using an open source GIS (QGIS) to students of the bachelor in Visual Communication. The specific challenge was teaching approaches from Social Science and Humanities (SSH) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines to integrate rigorous cartographic methodologies for map production with aesthetic visual aspects. This was successfully addressed with an hybridization approach that discuss themes from the two disciplines point of view and a goal-oriented course organization that produced as an output real map products. The general evaluation of this new course by students and teachers was positive. Despite the main criticism was related to the complexity of the used tools with respect to the course duration, the quality of the outputs demonstrated a very good capacity of students in learning and fusing of STEM and SSH concepts.

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