Upcoming MOOC from Penn State on Geodesign

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Those interested in learning about Geodesign should enroll in Penn State’s free GIS MOOC entitled, Geodesign: Change Your World.  Penn State was the first university to offer a GIS MOOC ( which stands for Massive Open Online Course) when it offered  “Maps and the Geospatial Revolution” last summer.

Now Professor Kelleann Foster, Director of the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and Lead Faculty for the Online Geodesign Graduate Programs at Penn State, is offering a course.

The Geodesign course starts August of 2014 and runs though September 5, 2014:

Our world is awash in facts and information, which are now easily accessible.  So why are so many bad decisions being made?  What is needed is creativity and design that brings those facts to life – to create a vision and choices as well as an understanding about the potential impacts of those choices.  The geodesign process has evolved over nearly 40 years and now combines the core concepts of design thinking with the latest in geo-spatial technologies.

Geodesign is a proven form of design that uses techniques and practices from a multitude of professions to determine optimal ways to design for complex land use challenges. It is a collaborative process that capitalizes on the strengths of people with a variety of expertise to create and implement unique models to aid in the design decision-making process.

Our MOOC will introduce the average person to the core concepts of geodesign through real-world examples which showcase how geodesign has worked across the globe.  People from all walks of life with interests in science, design, sustainability and environmental stewardship will want to learn about geodesign.  Together we will explore how anyone can use the geodesign process to work with others to effect change in their world.

The course involves five weeks of study of about 3-5 hours per week.  The course syllabus:

  • Week One:  Shared Languages ~ The key underpinnings of geodesign include aspects we all share: spatial thinking, creative change, and being rooted in real places.
  • Week Two: The Three D’s of Geodesign ~ Decision is the driver but one must also consider Data and Design.
  • Week Three: The Three C’s of Geodesign ~ Dealing with tough challenges is the main issue.  Imbedded in those are Complexity, Computation, and Collaboration.
  • Week Four: The Influence of Context ~ Place matters and is shaped by culture.  Who are the people of the place and what scale is best?
  • Week Five: Process and Framework  ~ The value of a proven process.  How to set up a project, outline an approach, understand the options, and get feedback about the impacts.

There are no prerequisites for enrolling in the course, only For more information and to enroll in this free course visit: https://www.coursera.org/course/geodesign


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