GIS experimental teaching demonstration
             GIS experimental teaching demonstration
    GIS experimental teaching demonstration

Basic Situation
The GIS experimental teaching center, which was once the mapping laboratory, was founded in 1990. During the past 20 years, starting with only one laboratory, the GIS experimental teaching center now has 9 branching laboratories, and it has played a very important role as a supporting platform of subject development.
The total room area of the experimental center now has reached 1180m2. And the experimental center has more than 400 instruments and equipments which each worth over 500¥, the total value of them is over 9,000,000¥. The experimental center has 9 branching laboratories. The GIS basic room, the environmental engineering simulating room, the urban planning designing room and the remote sensing information processing room mainly undertake the basic experiments, verification experiments and some comprehensive experiments of the 5 undergraduate programs. The man-land relationship areal system simulating room, the digital mapping room, the digital photogrammetry room and the GIS software developing room undertake the innovative experiments and opening experiments. The center undertakes the experimental courses and research tasks of the collection, input, storage, procession, analysis and output of geographic information, which refers to the 5 undergraduate programs, 6 master programs and 2 doctor programs. And they contain 49 experiment courses and 232 experiment (computerized) projects, the experimental time is over 50,000 hours per year.   


The main software & hardware equipments in the experimental center contain large color plotter, A0 book size scanner, HP workstation, Lenovo server, top-grade computers, GIS software (including ArcGIS, MapGIS, SuperMAP etc.), ERDAS, ENVI, GeoWay, full digital photogrammetric system and close-range photogrammetry software etc.. The experiment data contains Xi'an SPOT image (the year of 1990, 2000, 2009), Ningqiang SPOT5 image, Yanhe river basin RS image of 2005, Qinling Taibai mountain RS image, DLG data of some ROI of northern Shannxi province etc..    
There are now 25 full-time teachers in the experimental center, including 32% senior title, 40% vice-senior title, 24% middle title; doctors account for 40% and masters account for 36%.


Achievements
In last 5 years, with the experimental teaching center, our urban and environmental science college has achieved a lot of achievements in the aspects of personnel training, quality engineering project researching and science researching. The achievements mainly include:  
1. Undertook 27 quality engineering projects, including 7 province and department level projects, publishing 18 teaching papers.
2. Undertook 19 university student innovation test plan projects, including 6 national level ones.
3. Published 15 textbooks, including 3 textbooks in the higher education press, 10 text books in the sciences publishing house, 5 of them are listed in the national planned textbooks. Published 5 monographs. Edited 12 experimental teaching materials.   
4. The undergraduates published 12 science papers, achieved 15 awards in all kinds of extracurricular technological activities.
5. With the support of GIS teaching experimental center, the specialties of "GIS" and" Resource-Environment and City-Countryside Plan-Management" are listed in Shaanxi Well-known Brand Specialties. "GIS", "human geography ", "regional analysis and planning ", "surveying" etc. are listed in Provincial Top-quality Courses of Quality Engineering. 
6. Last 5 years, with the support of GIS teaching experimental center, our college undertook 80 scientific research projects, including 16 national level ones, 22 province and department level ones, 12 department and bureau level ones and other 30 ones. The scientific research funds are over 14,000,000¥.
7. Last 5 years, we published 289 academic papers, including 16 SCI ones, 5 EI ones, 222 core journal ones, and other 46 ones.
8. Achieved 18 scientific awards, including 5 province and department level science and technology awards.

Experimental Teaching Ideas
Geographic information technology has brought a lot of new problem solving methods to geology, it has strong practicality. So "experiment" is playing an important role in the whole teaching process.
(1) Build basic GIS experimental teaching platform which suits for the different levels of every specialty in our college. Based on the high level teaching platform and technical platform, build a highly practical, multi-leveled, multi-directional, interdisciplinary teaching system with the qualities of "basic skill--comprehensive practice—innovative ability". Aim to train the research-oriented talents with strong theoretical basis and innovative thoughts.  
(2) On the guidance of advanced teaching ideas, build a scientific teaching content system, an experimental teaching method which suits for students' cognitive rules, an experimental teaching environment which is well equipped, safe, environmental and people-oriented. By the basic experiments that match the theoretical teaching, raise the students' basic skills. By the relevant specialized experiments and comprehensive experiments, raise students' comprehensive practical abilities. Aim to raise students' innovative abilities by innovative and developing experiments.         
(3) Develop in-depth teaching research, update experiment contents continually, enhance the ratio of comprehensive experiments and innovative experiments, and introduce some scientific, engineering and social practical projects to experimental teaching, to build an environment in which students can do some independent and researching studies. Encourage students to attend in all kinds of experimental competitions, to raise the undergraduates' practical abilities, innovative abilities and comprehensive abilities.       
(4) Build a comprehensive students' score judging system, experimental teaching effect judging system and experimental teaching quality monitoring system, to guarantee the continually improvement of the teaching quality. 
(5) Strengthen the construction of experimental material and network courses. Based on the available 14 GIS core textbooks and 2 Shaanxi top-quality courses, publish experimental textbooks and improve the construction of network courses step by step. 

  
Reform Ideas of Experimental Teaching
(1) Proceeding from the talents training system, taking raising students' practical abilities and innovative abilities as the core, step by step, build a bread new innovative experimental teaching system which is leveled, interconnecting and scientific. 
(2) Continue discovering diversified teaching methods. Import some multidimensional experimental teaching methods, such as cases teaching, media teaching, virtual reality (VR) teaching, network teaching, outdoor practice etc.. Pay attention to the choices and improvements of traditional experiment projects, and improve the application of modern experimental techs. Pay attention to the designation and application of the comprehensive, designing and innovative experimental courses and projects. Pay attention to the development of students' extracurricular scientific experimental activities, to raise students' comprehensive quality and innovative abilities.   
(3) Improve the construction of the experimental software and hardware.
(4) Continually complete the experimental teaching quality monitoring system. To judge the teaching effects, besides in traditional ways, such as classroom observations by the supervisors, scored by the students and symposiums etc., we can accept the advices from graduates, who has worked out after graduation for years, by revisit, so that we can improve the experimental teaching quality continually.   

 
Experimental Teaching System and Contents
According to the principle of "widen caliber, strengthen basis, stress application", on the basis of the course system requirements of "basic platform courses, specialty courses and specialized direction", build a "highly practical, multi-leveled, multi-directional, interdisciplinary" experimental teaching system. 
Aiming to train students' knowledge, abilities, thoughts and qualities, according to the different requirements of basic theoretical knowledge and innovative abilities, set GIS experimental teaching into 4 leveled experimental projects: demonstrating experiment, comprehensive experiment, designing experiment and innovative experiment. This 4 kinds of experimental projects have more and more requirements of students' application of basic theoretical knowledge and innovative abilities. 
According to the differences between the emphasis of basic platform courses, specialty courses and specialized directional courses, GIS experimental teaching develops experiments of different directions. The platform courses mainly set demonstrating experiments and some comprehensive experiments, to enhance students' basic cartography and GIS knowledge. Specialty courses mainly set comprehensive experiments and designing experiments to enhance students' knowledge of RS, surveying and GIS design etc.. To enhance students' skills in the fields of computer cartography, urban planning, land information system and environmental analysis etc., specialized directional courses mainly set designing experiments and innovative experiments.     
As a resource sharing platform of our whole college, GIS experimental teaching center not only offers the students of GIS an experimental place and practical chances, but also offers the students of environmental science, environmental engineering, urban planning and resource-environment and city-countryside plan-management etc. an experimental platform to handle and apply GIS techs. At the same time, it can also meet the requirements, which is about simulation and inversion of natural phenomena, from the graduates of physical geography and human geography. 
All the experimental courses contain different experimental teaching levels (demonstrating experiment, comprehensive experiment, designing experiment and innovative experiment), including 70% comprehensive experiments, 21% designing and innovative experiments.


Experimental Teaching Methods
According to teaching syllabus, GIS teaching experimental center organizes teachers to develop teaching researching and editing experimental teaching syllabus of every course. Since GIS is developing so fast, the center insists updating the experimental contents regularly.
During the teaching process, notice the combination of theory and practical, lead students to pay attention to gain the problem solution from the combination of theory and practical, and improve students' practical abilities. The method which combines personal counseling and comprehensive demonstrating is used in the experiment classes. After every experiment, the problems in the experiment will be discussed and solved.  
Making full use of modern teaching techs during the experimental teaching, all the classes in the center are using media teaching tech. More over, online teaching, resource sharing, laboratory reports submitting and remarking are used in some of the classes, and it brings students another efficient studying platform. In experiment classes, VR is used to simulate surface movement processes,and this can reinforce students' impression. Cases teaching is introduced to some courses which have big incorporation with reality, and this can enhance students' problem analysis abilities.
Beside class practices, the center also undertakes 5 undergraduate specialties' every year outdoor practice experiments (fresh to junior), comprehensive practice experiments, academic year thesis experiments and degree thesis experiments.   
The method which combines personal counseling and comprehensive demonstrating is used in the experiment classes, and modern teaching techs are made fully use here. The center imports cases teaching, media teaching, virtual reality (VR) teaching, network teaching, outdoor practice etc., and forms a multidimensional experimental teaching method.
The comprehensive judgment for every student contains setting up an experiment process, the experiment results and an experiment exam, so this can bring students a harmonious progress. After every experiment, every student needs to submit the experiment results and reports, and according to these every student can gain a fair judgment. Ordinary achievement accounts for 20% of final achievement.

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