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ERIC Number: EJ971766
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2165-3151
Re-Purposing Google Maps Visualisation for Teaching Logistics Systems
Cheong, France; Cheong, Christopher; Jie, Ferry
Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, v11 p159-177 2012
Routing is the process of selecting appropriate paths and ordering waypoints in a network. It plays an important part in logistics and supply chain management as choosing the optimal route can minimise distribution costs. Routing optimisation, however, is a difficult problem to solve and computer software is often used to determine the best route. In an Australian postgraduate course on logistics systems, "Logware," a dated software packaged with a textbook was used for teaching routing. A need was felt to replace the software with a more modern tool with an advanced graphical user interface and a high level of visualisation capabilities for a more engaging student experience and better learning outcomes. Our objective in this paper is to re-purpose Google Maps, a general mapping utility, and capitalise on its highly visual nature to create a specialised utility for understanding routing and other GIS concepts such as geocoding and geolocation as used in logistics. The re-purposed utility tool was embedded in a teaching method that focused on visualization as a cognitive strategy and took advantage of the human cognitive architecture. Students were trained using a scaffolding approach in which the complexities of the tool developed were increasingly revealed to the students. The teaching method was used and evaluated in a single 2-hour workshop using mixed-methods research techniques, and positive student experience and learning outcomes resulted. Learning outcomes were measured by assessing students' workshop submission and all students received marks in the 7-10 (out of 10) range. Positive student experience also resulted since 93% of students rated the "usefulness" of the tool between 7-10 on a 10-point scale and 87% rated "use at work" between 7-10 on a 10-point scale. Positive experience was further evidenced by the qualitative comments students made. Although the study has demonstrated the usefulness of the tool for improving student experience and learning outcomes, one limitation of the study is that the impact of the tools on students' long term retention of learned information was not evaluated. More work needs to be done to evaluate the usefulness of the tool and teaching method over a longer period of time. (Contains 9 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia