Story Maps in the Classroom

Kim Diver and Jason Simms presented work about integrating story maps into liberal arts courses at the Northeast Arc Users Conference GIS Educator’s Day (Sunday November 8, 2015). For more information, go to

Abstract: This presentation discusses a pilot project in which five professors integrated ESRI Story Maps within the curriculum during spring semester 2015 at Wesleyan University, a highly-selective liberal arts university.  Multiple disciplines were represented that traditionally have not embraced GIS to a large extent in the classroom, including History, Humanities, and World Languages.  Feedback from the professors was generally positive, pointing out ways in which spatial visualization provides new pedagogical opportunities and avenues for collaboration both within and outside of class.  Student reactions were mixed, however, with many enthusiastically embracing Story Maps, while others noted that more “traditional” delivery methods, such as PowerPoint and Word, might have been more effective in some cases.  We will highlight some of the projects and discuss the outcomes, as well as future plans to leverage Story Maps further in the higher ed classroom.