Session 1H | Sprinting While Juggling: Learning Through Immersive Community GIS Skill-Building
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"In July 2021, the Mentoring Subcommittee of the Texas Digital Library’s GIS Interest Group (IG) planned and sponsored a GIS Learning Community Sprint. This free virtual initiative utilized an approach to learning GIS concepts modeled on the short, time-boxed “Sprint” associated with the Agile Method used by IT developers. The Sprint sourced and showcased GIS expertise from within the IG membership, comprised of library professionals at institutions across Texas, to build both familiarity with a range of GIS concepts and community through immersive co-learning. The Sprint Planning Group was deliberate about identifying learning outcomes for each topic covered, as a way of aligning “introductory overviews” of material with hands-on exercises for individual completion. We leveraged multiple virtual platforms in working with participants, some of which continue to serve Sprint participants well for ongoing consultation and discussion. We covered a broad range of topics, including databases, cloud platforms, software and related resources. We also performed daily brief-survey assessments to iteratively improve our approach to instruction and support during the course of the Sprint based on the feedback received. This presentation will discuss the construct, content, assessment, lessons learned and future applications of this piloted approach to GIS and geospatial skill-building. While specific to GIS tools, resources and concepts in this case, the model developed is versatile and has strong potential for application to a broad array of subject matter. The learning community created through this effort continues to benefit from the work of the GIS IG in multiple ways.