The Effects of Geographical Information Systems Use on Student Achievement in Geography Education
In recent years, there seem rapid changes in education and teaching. In order to provide effective learning, new methods, techniques and materials are developed and used. Given the new curriculum of the course of geography (2005) which tries to keep pace with this change, a constructivist learning and task based approach emphasizing skills, including alternative measurement and evaluation, strengthening the cooperation with the main and secondary disciplines and reflecting holistic and thematic views are evidenced. Along with this, computer assisted geographical information systems (GIS) is one of the most important materials for a correct, clear and easy transmission of the new geography teaching program. The applied part of the study was conducted on the students of Hacı Sami Boydak Anatolian High School and Şükrüpaşa High School in Yakutiye Municipality in Erzurum city. In this study, the subjects of Climate Types and Vegetation in grades 9 and 10 in Geography classes were determined to teach via GIS implementation. The study was conducted by means of treatment and control groups. Achievement test was applied to both groups, the result were analyzed via SPSS statistical program. During the classes, while GIS was used in treatment group, in control group conventional methods were applied. The results were evaluated and the effect of GIS technologies on student achievement was investigated. It was seen that, though, in achievement pretest, the mean of the correct answers of both groups was seen to be close to each other, in posttest results, the mean of the answers given by treatment group turned to be higher than the control group’s mean. As for the findings of the study, it was seen that the achievement level of the students who were taught by means of GIS activities was higher. In sum, it was found that GIS based activities in Geography classes significantly increased the achievement level of the students compared to conventional methods.
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