Exploring Affective Dimensions of Authentic Geographic Education Using a Qualitative Document Analysis of Students’ YouthMappers Blogs




Hite, Rebecca
Solis, Patricia
Wargo, Lindsay
Larsen, Thomas

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Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute


Research suggests numerous cognitive benefits of authentic learning experiences. Beyond cognition, there are additional dimensions for learners who engage in authentic learning experiences. In education, the affective experiences of authentic learning and the role of students’ social interactions remain largely unexplored. This paper examines students’ affective and social experiences derived from blog posts published on the YouthMappers website. YouthMappers is an international network of university students who create open map data for humanitarian and development programming. In an analysis of two years (2016–2017) of 82 blogs from the YouthMappers network, students from the U.S. and abroad report motivating experiences fueled by social events and gatherings. The participants also find value in communicating with, encouraging, educating, and supporting their peers. Geographic region and gender also play a part in their accounts. This paper seeks to advance research in student affect and social interactions during authentic learning experiences. Positive affective and social experiences may be employed to create authentic learning experiences, building impactful social and emotional experiences for globally-diverse students.



affect, authentic learning, blogs, enthusiasm, geography education, interest, mapping, motivation, social learning, Geography and Environmental Studies


Hite, R., Solis, P., Wargo, L., & Larsen, T. B. (2018). Exploring affective dimensions of authentic geographic education using a qualitative document analysis of students’ YouthMappers blogs. Education Sciences, 8(4): 173.


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© 2018 The Authors.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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