Development of a Web-Based GIS Learning Module for Community Asset Mapping to Enhance Service Learning in Social Work Education

Abstract

In recent years, service learning – a pedagogical approach that integrates learning through service in the community – has gained increasing popularity in higher education as a means to enhance student learning and civic engagement. Service learning is relevant to social work education because of its emphasis on social justice and the amelioration of social problems and field education through practicum sites. The benefits of service learning, however, are dependent on successful integration of this pedagogical approach into the classroom. By developing a web-based learning module, this project aims to explore the possibility of using community asset mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) as an integrated technology tool to promote service learning in social work education. An assessment of this module was conducted by a student survey. The overall positive feedback on the module indicates its contribution to social work study as well as its potential applicability to larger contexts. The project can serve as a starting point for developing best practices for the training of students in mapping and spatial thinking in their community practices that would benefit other disciplines as well. The project supports the university’s mission to improve student-centred, interdisciplinary, and innovative teaching and learning, and its commitment to enhance the economic and social well-being of the local communities.

https://doi.org/10.23974/ijol.2020.vol5.1.159
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