Geographical Information Research And Future-Facing Education
GIRAFFE is a project at the University of Leicester funded by the SPLINT (Spatial Literacy in Teaching) CETL that aims at fostering a network of practice to facilitate collaboration between educators within the field of Geography and Geographical Information Science (GIS).
GIRAFFE facilitates the sharing of teaching and learning resources amongst professionals in Geography and Geographical Information Science by developing a platform using a wiki (a website powered by software that supports creating and editing pages via a web browser using a simplified system). The project investigates the impact of wiki technology in the generation of content for learning and teaching purposes within these fields.
GIRAFFE enables and supports the production and sharing of educational resources drawn from teaching and learning materials from contributors in the field of Geography and Geographical Information Science from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) based in the UK and other countries. It draws on the experience gathered by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in establishing WikiVet, which is “a collaborative initiative between the UK Vetschools to develop a comprehensive on-line veterinary knowledge base”.
GIRAFFE uses WikiVet as a template and uses MediaWiki, a robust and easy-to-use software created and used by Wikipedia, thereby providing an easy technology to generate learning and teaching resources.
GIRAFFE counts on the support of Dr Nicholas Tate, senior lecturer in GIS at the Department of Geography, University of Leicester, and director of the SPLINT CETL, who acts as critical friend and provides peer-review support.
The project also benefits from the experience of Nick Short, head of learning technology at the RVC and leader in the development of WikiVet. Nick acts as an external critical friend and provides guidance on implementation.
Image of giraffe courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Hok