Comparing learning geography with ArcGIS online and desktop

Ali Demirci, Ahmet Karaburun, Serdar Arslan


To evaluate the use of different GIS platforms for learning geography this study presents the results of an experiment in which lessons with a desktop GIS and an online GIS are compared. Students from four secondary schools participated in geography lessons about global and Turkish earthquake risks using GIS. Of a group of 172 students 84 students used ArcGIS desktop software and 88 students used ArcGIS online. The results of the comparison in a pre-test post-test experiment show the online version to be more effective, but the results are not unambiguous. A questionnaire used to understand students’ attitudes after the lessons and GIS platforms showed that most students were positive about the online version as well as the desktop version. In reaction to survey statements on the GIS platforms the WebGIS group scored more positively than the desktop GIS one. Although unfortunately this investigation could not be carried out in a classroom setting it may help the discussion on using GIS platforms in secondary education and inspire further research.


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