Online Strategy to Decrease Transactional Distance Using a Student Location Map

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    • #4098
      Amanda Major
      Topics: 25
      Replies: 24

      Terence Cavanaugh with UNF-COEHS was asked to send this fabulous example of an online strategy during the TOPkit Workshop 2020. Its aim is to decrease transactional distance using a student location map.

      “This is an introduction strategy I use with my online students, it allows them to participate as a group while sharing information about themselves as they all build the map. I use an embedded google map with all my classes (each class had a different map) that allows me and the students to see all the students that are participating in the class. At the start of the semester, one of the students’ initial assignments is to participate in the development of an interactive Geographic Information System (GIS)-based map that included their location (home, work, or area) and some information about themselves (text, picture, and icon). The interactive class map provided a method of cooperative student participation in a course product and assisted in the visualization of the students as members of a group, through the display of course members’ locations, a positive for spatial thinkers or just the standard about yourself discussion introductions. Research analysis was done on the map integration. The majority of participants (65%) indicated that the maps contributed to their sense of community, while only 8.7% felt it did not. Likewise, a majority of participants (61%) indicated that the map assisted in relationship development, while 30.43% were neutral, and only 8.7% felt it did not. It is relevantly easy to integrate the map in the LMS. All I do is create the map in mymaps in Google, then set the sharing so that anyone with the link can edit, and then get the embed code, and paste that into the LMS course home page, and then provide instructions for how the students can edit.

      This is a sample map from a current class.”

      Student Location Map

      Thank you, Terence!


      1. Cooperative Map Assignment


      2. Student Location Map


    • #4111
      Terence Cavanaugh
      Topics: 0
      Replies: 1

      How to add a classmap to your course’s LMS easy as click and place.

      Make a map
      1. Start by logging in or registering with Google Maps (
      2. Select the + (plus sign) to create a new map.
      3. In the map information box give your map a name, I would also suggest that you add some information in the description about not changing this part), then press save.
      4. I give my Untitled layer the year name (that way I can reuse the map each time I teach the class and have a record of who has taken the class)
      5. Move the map, using your mouse, to the general location that you want to mark as your location and zoom in using the screen tools.
      6. Use the mouse pointer to select the Map Pin tool, then click on the map where you want the map pin to be located (it’s ok if it is a little off at first, you can move the pin anytime you wish).
      7. As soon as the map pin is placed a pop-up box will appear for content to be added. Give the map pin your name and then add some content to the description box about yourself. You can also click on the camera symbol to add a picture (from online, upload, or camera)
      8. Once the description is set select the OK button. Now, whenever the map point is selected the new content will be displayed.
      9. You can change from a Map Pin symbol to others by selecting the point and then clicking on the little paint bucket for Style – this will give you color and icon options.

      Privacy and sharing settings for the map that you create:
      To make it easy for students to participate you want the map’s Share settings to be • On- Public on the web (no sign-in required).
      To do this.
      1. Click on the Share icon
      2. in the Who has access section, click on the word Change…
      3. Select the Globe option ON-Public on the web,
      4. Next, change the Access so that Anyone (no sign-in required) is set to Can edit, and then click save and done.

      Embedding your map.
      1. First, you will need the embed code for your map. To get the code click on the three dots next to the map name.
      2. Now section the option to Embed on my site
      3. A pop-up should occur with the embed code – copy the code.
      4. Open your LMS go to the course home page and select the edit option.
      5. Change to the edit in HTML option.
      6. Find the place you want the map to be and paste in the code.
      7. Switch back to the regular view and check your map.
      8. If all is good save the page.
      Note you can use the iframe code to change things like the width and height.

      Student Instructions
      I also link instructions (with pictures) for my students to use on adding themselves to the map
      1. Click (open in new window/tab) link at the top right (looks like a box) of the map to open a larger version.
      2. On the map click on the Edit button to add your location.
      3. There should now be new tools in the upper left-hand corner of your map: a hand (to move your map around); a blue map pin (to add placemarks to your map); and what looks like a small graph (to add pathways). – Please do not change the information in the map Title or Description box!
      4. Click on the map pin to add your location. Once you click on it a new map pin will occur, move that pin and place it over your location (work or home) and then click to place it “into” the map.
      5. You should now see your placemark description box.
      6. In the title section add your name.
      7. In the description section give information about yourself, what you do, what school you work at (or where ever you work), and your program.
      8. If you wish to change the icon, click on the map pin at the top of the description box and select one of the other options.
      9. Click on the OK button and you should be added to the map.

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