A Case Study of Instruction and Assessment on Volcano Using GeoMapApp to Foster Elementary Students' Spatial Thinking and Visualization

초등학생들의 공간적 사고와 시각화 능력 함양을 위한 GeoMapApp 활용 화산 단원 수업 및 평가의 사례

  • Received : 2019.01.15
  • Accepted : 2019.02.11
  • Published : 2019.02.28


This study investigated elementary students' spatial thinking and visualization when they learned the shape of volcanoes. For this purpose we used GeoMapApp to design instruction program and assessment items. In the instruction, students were asked to connect the floor plan view of Jeju island with the cross-sectional view of the same figure producted by GeoMapApp. Then they were asked to classify four sets of pictures of volcanoes based on the similarities of figures, that is, dome-shaped and shield volcanoes. In the assessment students solved three questions which examined how they connected the plan view and cross-sectional profile of Kilauea, draw cross-sectional profile of Mt. Fuji, and distinguished a shield volcano and dome-shaped one. Students' discourse data during the class were analyzed according to the amount to showing their spatial thinking and visualization. The instruction program using GeoMapApp assisted students to facilitate their spatial thinking for understanding of volcanoes. The outcomes of assessment showed even elementary students had good spatial thinking and visualization. Therefore, we argued spatial thinking and visualization for geoscientific understanding need to be included in the national science curriculum for elementary students.


spatial thinking;visualization;GeoMapApp;volcano;geoscience education

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Fig. 1. Textbook page about volcanoes for the second semester of the fourth grade (MOE, 2018, p. 83).

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Fig. 2. GMRT map of the GeoMapApp (, Ryan et al., 2009).

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Fig. 3. Example of instructional material using GeoMapApp for this study.

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Fig. 4. Question #1 of this study (Maps were producted from GeoMapApp).

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Fig. 5. Question #2 of this study (The map was producted from GeoMapApp).

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Fig. 6. Question #3 of this study (Maps were producted from GeoMapApp).

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Fig. 7. Example at level A from the answer to Q2.

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Fig. 8. Example at level B from the answer to Q2.

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Fig. 9. Example at level C from the answer to Q2.

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Fig. 10. Textbook page about magma eruption and basalt/granite for the second semester of the fourth grade (MOE, 2018, p. 87).

Table 1. Group classifying according to answers to Q1 & Q3

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Table 2. Number of students in each level of answer to Q2

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Supported by : 서울교육대학교