Geography Learning Objectives and Outcomes Project (G-LOOP)
Learning Objectives Overview: Economic Geography
August 2000 - "Under Construction"

(Draft / "Work in Progress")

Quick Index:

  1. General & Overarching Program Objectives for Economic Geography
  2. Specific Learning Objectives with Learning Outcomes
  3. General Content and Structure of the Program
  4. Process of Achieving the Program's Learning Objectives and Outcomes
  5. Course-Specific Learning Objectives and Outcomes
  6. Students' Jobs and Careers after Graduation
  7. History and Background of the Program
  8. Bibliography

  1. General & Overarching Program Objectives for Economic Geography

  2. Specific Learning Objectives with Learning Outcomes

  3. General Content and Structure of Program

    Due to its multi-disciplinary content, economic geography potentially includes a vast array of subject areas and perspectives. Thus, departmental programs differ widely from each other. Interest areas, study programs, backgrounds and special needs of students add additional diversity and call for "flexible specialization". This flexibility makes it difficult to articulate learning objectives which, at the same time, are sufficiently specific (to be meaningful), reflect such flexibility, yet apply (more or less) to all students without amounting to mere "lowest common denominators".

    The following brief outline represents a first and highly incomplete attempt to structure the important content areas of our program in Economic Geography:

    • Conceptual and explanatory (theoretical) perspectives in economic geography

      • Concepts and theories of location and spatial organization
        1. Production/supply-oriented (locational rent & land use; industrial location etc.) ,
        2. Demand-oriented (Central place; market areas. spatial competition; spatial price discrimination etc.)
        3. Decision-oriented (Uncertainty; Game theory etc.)
        4. Organizational behaviors and structures
        5. Flexible production systems in space

      • Concepts and theories of regional change and economic development
        1. Productivity & technological change
        2. Product life cycles
        3. Changes in consumption patterns (Engel's Law etc.)
        4. Changes in sectoral/industrial employment patterns
        5. Changes in nature of jobs & labor markets
        6. Regional impacts of flexible production systems
        7. Globalization concepts

    • Analytical constructs and models

      • Location and spatial allocation models
          Including GIS applications
      • Regional economic models
        • Compositions-Cross-sectional: Location Quotient etc.
        • Interactive: Economic base, Input-Output etc.
        • Dynamic, forecasting-oriented: Shift-Share; Econometric models

  4. Process of Achieving Program's Learning Objectives:

    1. Formally, the concentration in Economic Geography consists of classes at the 200, 300 and 400 levels.

      1. At the 200-level: The general introductory class (Geography 207) serves as both the introduction to our concentration, and as a 200-level "distribution" for geography majors and students from other parts of the campus.

      2. a number of "Intermediate", 300-level courses (to be identified)

      3. Four formal, 400-level, class-based courses
        1. Geography 450 [presently offered by Professor Krumme]
        2. Geography 440 [presently offererd by Professor Beyers]
        3. Geography 466 [Geography 466 will be offered....... (JW)]
        4. Geography 448 [Unfortunately, a staffing shortage prevents us from offering the 400-level Transportation class during the regular academic year. It is generally offered during the Summer Quarter by Professor Yehuda Hayuth.]

        This table brings together major components of the process by which faculty attempts to convert learning objectives of these 400-level, "capstone" courses into learning outcomes:
        Course Learning Objectives Syllabi Resources Projects and/or Exercises Tests & Examinations

      4. Other important but less focal and more "technical" (methods) courses:
        1. Geography 326
        2. Geography 360
        3. Geography 426
        4. and others

    2. In addition, a variety of formal but more independent work contributes to learning outcomes in Economic Geography: Internships, Senior Essay, Undergraduate Seminar (Geog.498) etc. Independent work satisfies two major objectives within our concentration, namely to permit students to
      1. study subject areas which are not covered by formal courses
      2. learn how to study and pursue limited research topics independently.
      In both cases, students work under the direction of faculty. Faculty members in the concentration tentatively plan to facilitate such independent work by providing Web-based resources for areas which are particularly pertinent.

    3. There are other important but unscheduled, not-required, no-credit or informal learning experiences which may include:
      • Service-learning arrangements
      • Attendance at departmental lectures or colloquia
      • Discussions in faculty offices or hallways
      • Informal help in labs or in the library
      • Participation in "Undergraduate Research"
      • Presentations at yearly departmental undergraduate forum

    4. The undergraduate concentration in Economic Geography substantively focuses on four perspectives of economic activity patterns in geographic space, namely
        1. Location & Spatial Organization
        2. Spatial Interaction
        3. Regional Economic Analysis
        4. Regional Economic Development

      The learning objectives associated with these four major themes and their core content and courses are maybe best represented by specific, relatively recent learning materials including books (not necessarily the present texts in these classes) authored by well-know scholars in the respective fields:

      1. Micro-Perspectives, Location Theory, Organizational Behavior and Structure, Decision Processes Geography 450: Location Theories Hayter,R., Dynamics of Industrial Location (1998)

      Harrington, J.W. & B.Warf, Industrial Location (1995)

      Hoover,E.M. and F.Giarratani, Introduction to Regional Economics. 3rd ed., 1985 [Chs. 2-8]
      2. Macro-Perspectives, Structure and Change in Aggregate Data, Inter-Industrial and Inter-Regional Interdependence, Regional Economic Impact Analyses, Regional Forecasting Geog 350: Local & Market Area Analysis

      Geog 440: Regional Economic Analysis

      Isard, Walter et al., Methods of Interregional and Regional Analysis, Ashgate, 1998.

      Beyers & Lindahl, Producer Services, 2001(?)

      Hoover, Edgar M. and Frank Giarratani, An Introduction to Regional Economics. 3rd ed, 1985, Chs.9-11.

      Schaffer, W.A., Regional Impact Models , A WebBook, 1999

      3. Spatial Interaction: Migration, Communication, Capital Flows (FDI etc.), Trade and Transportation Geog 344: Migration in the Global Economy

      Geog 349: International Trade

      Geog 448: Transportation

      Dicken, P., Global Shift

      Taaffe & Gauthier, Geography of Transportation

    5. Trade
    6. Transportation
    7. Migration
    8. Communication
    9. Financial Transactions
    10. Foreign Direct Investment
    11. 4. Micro/Macro Regional Development Perspectives; Influence of Technological Change and Innovation Behaviors on Regional Development, Influence of Locational and Other Spatial Behaviors; Geog 366: Regional Development: Technology and Industrial Change: Global, National, and Subnational Perspectives

      Geography 467: Regional Economic Development (?)

      Malecki, E., Technology & Economic Development, 1997 (2nd ed.) (Paperback) Resources:
    12. Innovation (JWH)
    13. Labor Processes (JWH)
    14. Regional Development & Policies
    15. HighTech Regional Development

  5. Course-Specific Learning Objectives:

    1. Beyers
    2. Harrington
    3. Krumme

  6. Students' Jobs and Careers after Graduation:

  7. History and Background of the Program

    1. J.Velikonja's Account of the Thomas Era: 1958 | 1963 | 1983
    2. Morgan Thomas: Selected Items
    3. The More Recent Program

  8. . Bibliography