Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have become an important trend in distance education. By their nature, MOOCs provide increased global access to college courses without tuition cost to students, and they challenge traditional models for higher education which emphasize high levels of one-on-one contact between instructors and students. In this presentation I describe experiences from designing, developing, and teaching the first MOOC on Mapping. The course, called Maps and the Geospatial Revolution, has been taught twice through Coursera, a major MOOC platform. More than 75,000 students from over 200 countries have enrolled in the course to date, signaling a large demand for basic cartographic education. This talk will reflect on the wide range of challenges and opportunities regarding MOOCs for geographic education and research, including the experience of teaching a class at scale to novices around the world.
<p>Dr. Anthony Robinson is Assistant Professor, Director for Online Geospatial Education programs, and Assistant Director for the GeoVISTA research center in the Department of Geography at Penn State University. In the former role, Robinson directs Penn State’s Online Geospatial Education efforts, including its Master of GIS and Post-Baccalaureate GIS Certificate programs, which have served over 5000 students with more than 30 courses since 1999. Robinson teaches Maps and the Geospatial Revolution on Coursera, a MOOC that has enrolled over 75,000 students from more than 200 countries. For the GeoVISTA Center, Robinson's research focuses on the science of interface and interaction design for geographic visualization software tools. He has developed interface design and usability assessment methods for integrating geographic visualization tools with work in epidemiology, crisis management, and homeland security.<br /><br /></p>