Structural Gamification of a University GIS Course

Part of the Advances in Geographic Information Science book series (AGIS)


College level Geographic Information Systems (GIS) courses are, like most university courses, linear, rigid, punitive, and self-contained. Most have laboratories involving the use of high-end, complex GIS software with a steep learning curve. This chapter demonstrates one way to convert one such laboratory course into a quest-based learning (QBL) environment. The chapter illustrates how I am currently using 3DGamelab’s Quest-Based Learning Management System (LMS) to convert this traditional, college course into one that provides choice, rewards for learning from mistakes, and opportunities for credential building. I describe how to incorporate labs normally requiring face-to-face interaction, how to provide choice and still cover the material, how to leverage outside learning material, and how to encourage life-long learning. Many of the rewards, especially the badges, are linked explicitly to the US Department of Labor’s geospatial technology industry’s competency model, thus encouraging learners to see this as an opportunity to plan for future employment. Finally, this chapter discusses some of the difficulties of course mapping a complex, full-semester course. In particular it illustrates issues of adapting to learner needs, and the time and effort required to construct and deliver an interactive-intensive learning environment. I make recommendations for solutions and adaptations for such difficulties.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA

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