Case Study: Story Maps in the Classroom
Incorporating Esri's story maps into the geography undergraduate senior seminar at the University of South Carolina helped students communicate results from their semester-long projects. The authors discuss the successes they had and the challenges they faced to help other instructors recognize the possibilities—and minimize the limitations—of using story maps in their own classrooms. The story map concept allowed students with varying levels of GIS and mapping experience (from none to substantial) to clearly express the spatial story attached to their projects. Story maps let educators introduce students to the concepts and techniques involved with creating a dynamic, geocentric web application. Story maps can be created using basic prepared templates that are designed entirely using the ArcGIS Online web application tools or from downloadable template files that can be easily configured and customized by editing a few simple HTML or comma-separated value (CSV) files. While the incorporation of story maps was an overall success, it was a learning experience with technical challenges for students, the instructor, and the technical staff supporting the class.