Learning by Solving Problems: Cognitive Load Theory and the Re-Design of an Introductory GIS Course

Jeff Howarth



This article presents a teaching model to support learning by solving problems with geographic information technology. Using the case study of a re-designed introductory course in geographic information systems, I present research from studies of expertise and Cognitive Load Theory that identify learning objectives and methods for problem-based instruction. I illustrate a general template for learning geographic technology by solving a problem based on a process of understanding the problem, developing a plan, and implementing the plan. This template also reinforces learning during practice and exam problems. The article aims to encourage future research on problem-based instruction of geographic information technologies that integrate cognitive studies of learning, spatial thinking, and problem solving.



cognitive load theory; education

Full Text: PDF HTML


  • There are currently no refbacks.