The partner organizations of the “MY GEO” project are running focus groups of Unviersity teachers with the aim of identifying key competences related to the use of GIS tools in higher education. The competences identified will be included in the “MY GEO” MOOC for teachers under implementation.

To the aim above, the University of Zaragoza organised, on the 11th of May 2019, a focus group of twelve teachers. On following are reported the main conclusions of the discussions held among the participants of the focus group.


Study group of teachers held in the University of Zaragoza: summary of conclusions

Focus group 1 conducted by Rafael de Miguel and Maria Sebastián

Date: 11 May 2019 (13:00-14:00)

Number of attendants: 12

Place: Department of geography and Regional Planning (University of Zaragoza)

Teachers profile: Teachers of geography, all of them experts in GIS, and GIS tools teaching. 4 teachers, more than 20 years of experience. 4 teachers, more than 10 years of experience. 4 young teachers and GIS researchers.


  • The MOOC structure is very ambitious as it only has 1 ECTS. It should be enlarged or contents must be reduced in order to focus in specific training, despite GIS tools are complex and difficult for non-experts.
  • Tools and activities must be simple and useful for teacher’s daily works.
  • GIS training has not only geography contents, but also interdisciplinary knowledge.
  • MOOC should balance training in contents, methods and activities for a successful in practice higher education teacher training.
  • Importance of geospatial lab approach: spatial analysis, spatial patterns, spatial relationships…
  • Challenge: how to update teachers used to traditional skills (description, projection, fieldwork) into GIS users. Added value of GIS skills must be highlighted when teaching a particular geographical knowledge.
  • TPACK is an interesting model, but Geospatial Technology Competency Model (pyramid) should be also present in the MOOC.
  • Another key point is how to balance training for expert geographers and for non geographers? Whats the profile of MOOC users?
  • Meaningful GIS tools according to proficiency levels: basic –medium-advanced.