Incorporating student working experiences into GIS education

Many civil engineering students work as interns to get practical experiences in planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of facilities. They are often challenged at their workplace to manage data associated with various location specific facilities. This paper addresses an application-oriented teaching approach to incorporate students’ working experiences into GIS education. The approach involves 1) identifying spatial issues and problems in students’ workplace, 2) introducing students to the fundamentals of GIS technology, and 3) training students to develop and implement GIS projects using data from their workplace. A number of student projects discussed in the paper show that the approach is effective in GIS education.