1 Universidad Católica de Ávila (SPAIN)
2 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN23 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 3243-3248
ISBN: 978-84-09-52151-7
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2023.0898
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are tools that allow capturing, storing, analyzing, consulting, managing, visualizing, and disseminating geographic data/information of a physical and/or human nature, through maps, graphs or tables.
GIS can have great importance and potential in the development of spatial and transversal competencies in different disciplines and educational contexts. However, the use of GIS in education is often limited by its high cost and technical complexity. Therefore, an interesting alternative to overcome this limitation is the use of open-source GIS software: programs that can be obtained and used for free, and whose source code is available for modification or improvement.
However, the use of free software for GIS also implies some challenges, since it requires adequate training of both teachers and students, it needs efficient and updated technical support, it must guarantee the quality and reliability of geographic data, it must be integrated with other available technological resources and it must have the possibility of being able to evaluate its impact on the teaching-learning process.
Distance education (DLE) offers multiple opportunities to incorporate open-source GIS software as a teaching resource by allowing access to a wide variety and quantity of geographic data online, facilitates the synchronous or asynchronous interaction between teachers, students or other educational agents, stimulates collaboration between peers or groups through shared projects or activities, enables the personalization of learning according to individual interests, needs or rhythms and implies a continuous evaluation based on evidence, portfolios or rubrics.
Based on this background, this communication highlights some ideas and experiences on how to use open-source GIS software for the practical application of knowledge of Landscape Planning in postgraduate studies. The software selected for this purpose has been QGIS: an open-source program that allows advanced analysis and complex operations with geographic data. This software allows scientific analysis and professional applications with geographic data in DLE environments, analyzing and assessing through a practical example the impact of the competencies that students acquire using this tool, highlighting among this spatial analysis and the visualization of geographical data, which in the future will allow students to apply a better performance of their professional activity.
Given the results obtained through this experience, it is concluded that the use of open-source GIS software for the resolution of practical exercises in Landscape Planning at the postgraduate level in distance education is an extremely effective and economical option for the training of students and professionals from different university fields in geography and related disciplines.
Distance learning, Geographic Information Systems, Open License, QGIS, Landscape Planning, Postgraduate.