One of the key outputs to be implemented through the “MY GEO” project is the “MY GEO MOOC for teachers“: an online course for University teachers aimed at fostering the acquisition of key competences related to the use of GIS in higher education courses, with the ultimate objective of promoting the modernization of teaching methods and tools in higher education institutions.

The MOOC will be realized following a process of research, identification and validation of key skills and concrete examples on the use of GIS tools in higher education.

In this sense the four partner Universities of “MY GEO” are implementing “focus groups” of teachers (for a minimum of ten teachers taking part to each focus group) and meant to support the process described above.

At the moment the focus groups of teachers are discussing on the identification of the key competences related to the use of GIS that the MOOC will deal with.

On following are reported the conclusions of the focus groups of teachers organised by the Nacional Distance Education University (UNED) and held in Madrid in March and April 2019.

Two meetings, each involving five teachers, have been held online, the second meeting has been recorded and can be watched at this link (the video is in Spanish).


Study group of teachers held in UNED (Madrid): summary of conclusions

Focus group 1 conducted by María Luisa de Lázaro

Date: 11 March 2019 (16:00-17:00)

Number of attendants: 3

Place: Pilot group of teachers (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

Teachers profile: Teachers of geography that use virtual viewers and globes, although not specific GIS tools (more information on the google form)

Conclusions: His most relevant statements were: (most of them were reflected in the questionnaire prepared for this purpose)

a) Pedagogical and general aspects:

– It’s a lot of subject matter for only one ECTS credit on the same MOOC.

b) Aspects related to tools:

– The multicriteria analysis does not consider it relevant, yes the raster GIS, so that employee for it could be maintained.

– Little material related to satellite images.

c) Aspects related to the contents:

– Add more aspects related to risks, for example fire, floods, droughts, landslides…

– The environmental impact is considered important and also climate change, which is not seen to be contemplated.

– Enological tourism is considered of minor importance, perhaps framed in a broader context, such as cultural tourism or urban tourism … it could be maintained.

– Geolocation and augmented reality are important elements, as well as smart-cities.


Focus group 2 conducted by María Luisa de Lázaro and David Cocero

Date: 30 April 2019 (10:00-11:30 pm)

Number of attendants: 7

Place: UNED. It was recorded and it is available on:

Teachers profile: 3 GIS teachers (on UNED and university of Málaga, University of Navarra and University of Cantabria) and 4 teachers of different brands of Geography.

Conclusions: The program is very ambitious. It is suggested to make it modular according to different profiles:

– Thematic cartography. Spatial representation of data, online application of geohumanities. Visualization in story map.

– Precision cartographic and topographic. Generation of precision cartography using correctly the projection systems.

– Work with raster images.

– GIS analysis.

Every teacher has the option of doing only the modules they are interested in. Thus, it is necessary to specify the expected learning result after the module title.

About tools and content it has been suggested to add: orientation games, geocaching, Google MyMaps and other free software, collaborative and participatory cartography, symbology, multi-layered work. ArcGIS Online and its free accounts. Some subject matter of Urban Geography, reinforcement of the Spatial Data Infrastructure and availability of cartographic and data sources of the IGN (National Geographic Institute), IGME (Geological and Mining Institute of Spain), ITACyL (Agricultural Technology Institute of Castile and Leon).

It is suggested a change in proposed the order of the modules, as following: 1,2,5 (to integrate this module of databases in module 2?), 7,4,3,6 and 8.

Other necessary tools, for example excel, can be added by a link on any of the YouTube tutorials to help the user to follow the exercises.

It is very important to use tools of interest for the students professional future.

Other questions that arose were: How can a university professor dare to the unknown? How to encourage teachers who do not routinely use GIS tools to do so?