Vol. 14 No. 2 (2023):
Research Article

Web GIS to Learn Geopolitics in Secondary Education: A case study from Spain

Miguel-Ángel Puertas-Aguilar
International School of Doctorate Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (EIDUNED), Spain
Ana E. García Sipols
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC), Spain
María-Luisa de Lázaro-Torres
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Spain

Published 2023-05-26


  • secondary education,
  • geography,
  • competencies,
  • history,
  • Web GIS,
  • education assessment
  • ...More

How to Cite

Puertas-Aguilar, Miguel-Ángel, Ana E. García Sipols, and María-Luisa de Lázaro-Torres. 2023. “Web GIS to Learn Geopolitics in Secondary Education: A Case Study from Spain”. European Journal of Geography 14 (2):15-31. https://doi.org/10.48088/ejg.m.pue.
Received 2023-03-26
Accepted 2023-05-26
Published 2023-05-26


Teachers’ increasing use of cloud-based Geographical Information Systems (Web GIS) in an interactive way in Spanish secondary schools highlights the importance of researching the effectiveness of this new approach. This study employs action research qualitative methods, through direct teacher observation, and quantitative methods to analyze student grades following first use of Web GIS. Specifically, the research involved: a) Design: organizing a geopolitics’ lesson plan, with seven tasks, for a sample comprising 92 students at K10 level (15-16 years old); b) Comparison: contrasting the results of a traditional written exam following the use of two technologies (namely, Web GIS and a conventional PowerPoint presentation); c) Data collection: analyzing quantitative data via a descriptive and inference study of grades (involving a geopolitics exam; geography and history final term; Grade Point Average -GPA-; and the average grade of the entire term’s 10 curriculum subjects); d) Direct observation: assessing class interactions in which students are assisted with both technology (Web GIS or PowerPoint) and the clarification of concepts. The results demonstrate that Web GIS is a useful learning tool in geopolitics, with students getting better grades and no significant gender differences. Direct observation confirms how Web GIS technologies engage students; assist ‘ubiquitous learning’ from any place and at any time; improve their understanding of data analysis and spatial concepts; and enhanced digital competencies.

-Web GIS engage students in learning geopolitics and enable them to obtain better grades.
-Students improve their understanding of spatial concepts using Web GIS.


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