Distance-based GIS education (eGIS+)
This was an educational development project funded by the EU Leonardo da Vinci Programme. The project was coordinated by the University of Gjøvik, Norway, with partners from Sweden, Holland, Poland, Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania and Portugal.
eGIS + was the second and final phase of a project that started in 2002. The objective of phase one was to build up eight GIS courses that would be provided as distance education based on the Internet. This was done, and the purpose of phase two was to improve and expand the existing training materials, and above all to make GIS visible as well as to increase recruitment of students over the Internet.
Among the project activities included:
- The creation of a GIS portal on the Internet. Here, the visitor could get both the short as well as more detailed information about what GIS is and how it can be used. Everything from a 2 minute video presentations to two-day courses with data and software was to be freely available.
- Creation of a new distance-based GIS course with a focus on data harmonization and the European standardization program INSPIRE.
- Development of new meeting places on the Internet where GIS could be discussed and passed forward by teachers and students as well as the general public.
In eGIS+, we used Moodle, which is a free platform for organizing and distributing courses over the Internet. Researchers with different backgrounds, mainly GIS, pedagogy and computer science/programming, worked together to create an environment on the Internet that appealed to visitors and developers, and additionally conveyed GIS in an efficient manner.
The project website is www.e-gis.org.