MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION
NGUYEN THANH XUAN
BUILD-UP AND USE OF OPEN SOURCE WEBGIS
IN TEACHING GRADE 12 GEOGRAPHY
Specialty: Theory and Methodology of Teaching Geography
SUMMARY OF DOCTORAL DISSERTATION
OF EDUCATIONAL SCIENCE
This thesis was completed at: Hanoi National University of Education
1. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Viet Thinh
2. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dang Van Duc
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Trinh Le Hung
Military Technology Academy
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ngo Quang Son
Vietnam Academy for Ethnic Minorities
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Do Vu Son
Thainguyen University of Education
The dissertation is being defended
in front of a University-level committee
at Hanoi National University of Education at …. ………………..
The dissertation can be founded at following libraries:
- Vietnam National Library
- Library of Hanoi National University of Education
Maps in general and educational maps in particular have significant
roles in teaching Geography. However, paper educational maps have
several disadvantages, such as: it takes longer time to be updated; fixed
map scale requires relevant generalization of objects, phenomena; it is
more difficult to expand knowledge contained in the map; it is
inconvenient to users that they should always keep paper maps to search or
find out objects on the map. In case of an additional system of digital map
stored and updated online to be used in combination with existing map
sources, the disadvantages mentioned-above will be taken off, facilitating
the teaching and learning.
The innovation of teaching school subjects, including Geography, to
improve learning efficiency is both important mission and solution to
realize the fundamental reform of education in the country. The promoted
application of educational technology will create a modern interactive
environment for students and contribute significantly to training a
generation of "global citizens", in line with the requirements of the Fourth
WebGIS was emerged on the basis of new development of science and
technology and the Internet. This application has been used in different
areas of life, economy and society, including education. With many
advantages, Open Source WebGIS can be an appropriate solution, which
helps to innovate learning methods, improve efficiency and capacity of
applying information technology in teaching geography.
Grade 12 Geography is a course that helps students have basic
knowledge on geography of Vietnam. The map sources used in teaching
Grade 12 Geography mainly are: inserted maps in textbooks, wall maps
and Atlat Geography of Vietnam. Other additional map sources can be
sought on Internet as from the Google map application and other web sites,
but WebGIS exclusively for teaching grade 12 Geography.
Based on reasons mentioned-above, we choose the theme of the
dissertation as “Build-up and use of open source WebGIS in teaching
Grade 12 Geography”.
2. Research objectives and tasks
2.1. Research objectives
To set up a process and to design samples of Open Source WebGIS
maps; to experiment the use of WebGIS in teaching Grade 12 Geography
aiming to enhance the effectiveness of teaching geography in high school
as well as to develop student’s competency.
2.2. Research tasks
To review the theoretical and practical basis of developing and using Open
Source WebGIS in teaching geography; To identify the requirements to and
principles of build-up and use of WebGIS in teaching Grade 12 Geography;
To setup a process and design WebGIS; To use WebGIS in teaching Grade 12
Geography; To perform pedagogical experiment to verify the feasibility and
effectiveness of the use of WebGIS in teaching.
3. Research subjects and scope
3.1. Research subjects
Studying a process of WebGIS development; applying open source to
develop WebGIS and using WebGIS in teaching Grade 12 Geography.
3.2. Research scope
The main focuses of this dissertation are as follows: a process of
developing WebGIS to be proposed; sample maps for teaching 3 lesson
units (Unit 13, 24 and 30) in Geography 12 to be designed and to be tested
in teaching practice; A pedagogical experiment at selected high schools to
be performed to verify the feasibility and effectiveness of using WebGIS in
teaching Grade 12Geography.
4. Scientific hypothesis
The appropriate use of open source WebGIS to support teaching grade
12 Geography will promote active learning, develop student’s competency,
contribute to innovating teaching methods and enhance the quality of
teaching geography in high school.
5. Literature Review
In this paragraph it was reviewed main works on maps and map-use in
geography education of famous Russian educators and geographers as V.
Bhudov (1948); A. Borzov (1949); N.N.Baranxki (1960), Borden D. Dent
(1999), Slocum (1999), AM. Berliant (2004); K.A. Xalisev (2005
By the end of the twentieth century, the science and technology boom
led to the emergence of digital maps. This was an important premise,
making a sharp development of mapping and map use. Some presentative
studies could be found in Denis Wood, John Fels (1992); A.H. Robinson et
al. (1995); M.J. Kraak and F.J. Ormeling (1996); Allan Brown (2001); Alan
M. MacEachren (2004); M.P. Peterson (2005); E. Stefanakis et al. (2006);
W. Cartwright et al. (2007), ... These works mentioned above dealt with the
use of technology and science in mapping and map use, analyzed and
highlighted the advantage of the electronic maps, multimedia maps versus
traditional maps, and introduced background concepts of web-based,
Open source WebGIS was blossoming when open source Map Server
technologies were introduced, along with the development of open source
GIS and Web applications. WebGIS is getting more important, widely used
in most areas of life. In the field of education, WebGIS was soon applied
in many countries.
5.2. In Vietnam
In this paragraph, it was reviewed main works of experts on cartography
and educational maps, as Ngo Dat Tam (1968); Pham Ngoc Dinh, Vu Tuan
Canh, Lam Quang Doc, Le Huynh, Hoang Xuan Linh, Do Thi Minh Tinh
(1976); Le Huynh - Le Ngoc Nam (2001); Lam Quang Doc - Pham Ngoc
Dinh, Vu Bich Van, Nguyen Minh Ngoc (2005); Lam Quang Doc (2009). Main
works of experts on methodology of teaching geography also were reviewed as
those of Nguyen Duoc, Nguyen Trong Phuc (2001), Mai Xuan San (2001),
Dang Van Duc, Nguyen Thu Hang (2003), Nguyen Duc Vu (2006).
Concerning the online mapping or WebGIS there were publications of Le
Quoc Hung (2005), Tran Quoc Binh (2010), Vo Anh Tuan (2012), Tran Van
Anh and Mai Van Sy (2013). These publications mentioned above dealt with
either macro issues as spatial data sharing, national data infrastructure or
concrete issue as to build WebGIS applications for socio-economic
development, tourism calendar, resource management, ... Until now, the
author of this dissertation has not been able to access research works on
WebGIS applied in teaching in general, and in teaching geography in
6. Research approaches and methods
6.1. Research approaches
The dissertation is based on the following approaches: structural
6.2. Research Methods
The main research methods used in the dissertation are: literature and
documentation review, Graph (schemas), cartographic methods and GIS
application, expertise, survey, pedagogical experiement, mathematical
7. Contributions of the dissertation
7.1. Theoretical ones
Having reviewed the theoretical basis for building an open source
WebGIS and using it in teaching, namely in teaching Grade 12 Geography;
Having identified the requirements and principles for building an open
source WebGIS applicable for teaching Grade 12 Geography; Having
suggested a process to build up and to use WebGIS in teaching Grade 12
7.2. Practical ones
Having assessed the current situation of employing ICT means and
application in teaching Grade 12 Geography. Having built a WebGIS demo
and performed teaching Grade 12 Geography with WebGIS support to
develop student’s capacity; Having conducted pedagogical experiments in
high school, thereby proved the feasibility and effectiveness of using
WebGIS in teaching Grade 12 Geography.
8. Structure of the thesis
Apart from the introduction and conclusion, the main content of the
thesis consists of 3 chapters: Chapter 1: Theoretical and practical
background of the development and use of open source WebGIS in
teaching Grade 12 Geography. Chapter 2: The build-up process and use of
open source WebGIS in teaching Grade 12 Geography. Chapter 3:
Pedagogical experiment. In addition, there are list of figures, list of tables
CHAPTER 1: THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL
BACKGROUND OF THE DEVLOPMENT AND USE OF OPEN
SOURCE WEBGIS IN TEACHING GRADE 12 GEOGRAPHY
1.1. General issues on the renovation of general education
1.1.1. Renovation of the general education curriculum
The new general education curriculum is designed to develop the
quality and competency of students while emphasizing the learner’s role as
the subject of cognitive activity, considering the overall development of
personality, the formation and development of general and specific
competencies associated to the learning subject.
By learning geography, students should form and develop common
competencies as well as specific competencies of geography such as
geographic awareness, geographic exploring and enquiry, application of
learned knowledge and skills in the reality.
1.1.2 Innovation in methods, forms of teaching and assessment
Teacher to continue applying methods of active learning, while playing
the role of organizer and supervisor of students’ activities. The teacher of
geography to enhance teaching methods to promote the role of the
students. In line with this, he/she need to use effectively ICT and teaching
means, to encourage and create favorable conditions for their students to
withdraw information from the Internet in study, develop their skills of
presenting geographic information by ICT.
Teachers to diversify organizational forms of learning, paying more
attention to both classroom teaching and social activities, creative
experience, practice of scientific research, to coordinate closely the
education at school, in family and in social life.
Teacher to diversify the assessment using a variety of forms and tools
of assessment. Competency-based assessments in Geography need to
identify specific expressions of qualities and abilities.
Following the guidance and orientation for innovation mentioned
above, the author of this thesis has studied and developed WebGIS to
support teaching grade 12 Geography, aimed to create teaching aids and
enhance the application of ICT in teaching and learning. Products are
designed so that teacher can diversify the organizational forms of teaching,
facilitate the formation and development of students’ competency.
1.2. Application of information and communication technology in
ICT is a general term about a set of science and technology related to
concept of information, information processing and dissemination. In that
sense, ICT provides us with scientific perspectives, methods, means and
solutions that are primarily computer and media for effective exploitation
and use information sources in all areas of socio-economic, cultural and
According to UNESCO, ICT can complement, enrich, and transform
education. There are different ways in which technology can facilitate
universal access to education, connect learning areas, support the
development of teachers, improve the quality and relevance of learning,
strengthen inclusion, improve education administration and governance.
1.2.2. The role of ICT in teaching
The development of the Internet and the network infrastructure has
opened up three main streams of employment in education: training service,
interaction enhancement and learning resources. ICT helps to improve the
audio-visuality; facilitate the application of active learning and modern
teaching techniques, contribute to changing and diversifying teaching
forms; improve the attention of students; create teaching tools and means.
1.2.3. Trends of application of ICT in teaching geography
Opportunities to apply ICT in teaching Geography is varied and
diverse: Exploiting and using utilities of ICT in all stages of the teaching
process; Organizing teaching activities with support of applications and
softwares specialized for geography; Simple visualizing the contents using
ICT; Online learning via the internet or blended learning.
The open source WebGIS which the author of this dissertation built in
fact is an application product utilized achievements of science and
technology. Teaching by employing WebGIS is essentially the application
of ICT in the teaching and learning process
1.3. Educational maps in teaching geography
A map is a miniaturized representation of the Earth’s surface on a plane
based on a mathematic transformation, a mapping language, a medium
(graph) that reflects the distribution, state and interconnections among
objects. An educational map is designed based on the strict principles of
map generalization and in relevance to the purpose, contents and methods
of the school subject as well as to the characteristics of age-related
intellectual development, Both aesthetic and school hygiene may be
According to Lam Quang Doc (2009), all available types of educational
map can be grouped according to the classification criteria. The author of
this dissertation suggests that WebGIS for teaching is an online
educational map, because WebGIS to be maintained and developed on the
Internet, accessed, used through a web browser or internet connection
Educational maps play important role in teaching geography. In terms
of knowledge, educational map is the only tool able to cover phenomena,
large/remote territories on the Earth. When thinking on a map, students
expand the concept of space, establish spatial-temporal dimension of
mutual and causal relationships between phenomena and processes in
nature and in society which are presented on the map; explore laws of
distribution of geographic objects and phenomena.
In terms of methodology, educational map is a type of visual channel
that shows concise information about objects and phenomena that are
encoded by map symbols and space locators. It is the only means able to
reflect with accuracy the distribution and relationships of objects on the
Earth’s surface. Educational map is an effective tool for teachers to apply
many active learning methods, to enrich knowledge, to strengthen
student’s abilities. Educational maps facilitate teachers to diversify
organizational forms of teaching both in and outside the classroom.
1.4. WebGIS in teaching geography
WebGIS concept is related to other concepts of the Internet, the World
Wide Web and the Geographic Information System (GIS).
WebGIS is a geographic information system that is operated and
developed through a computer network, allowing users to perform functions
of collecting, storing, updating, processing, analyzing geographic data and
get results directly on the Web browser without having to use additional
GIS software. In the WebGIS form, maps exist on cyberspace or so-called
WebGIS is very varied and diverse in terms of types. They can be divided
according to different criteria. If based on the ability to provide services,
there can be five types: Geodata Server, Map Server, Online Retrieval
System, Online GIS and GIS Function Server (Claus Rinner, 1998).
Compared to paper maps and traditional GIS software installed on the
computer, WebGIS has many advantages such as: global reach, response to
large number of users, multi-platform capability, very low cost, easy to use,
convenient to update, diverse applications, detailed and specific
The disadvantages of WebGIS are related to the fact that beginners to
WebGIS will have to change their habit a bit in comparison with using
traditional paper maps. Most WebGIS are online, so the user's device must
be connected to the Internet. On the other hand, the speed of data access
depends on the provider's server and network service traffic.
In teaching geography WebGIS is able to enhance the interaction in the
learning process; to diversify the organizational forms of teaching, to
contribute to forming and developing students’ competencies; to create
tools, means of visualization, to supply enriched knowledgeable, updated
WebGIS can be used in conjunction with traditional maps, and at the
same time, WebGIS becomes a way to create value-added to maps,
confirms that maps are indispensable sources of knowledge in teaching
1.5. Open source for WebGIS
Open source software is that provided in both source and source code,
not only purchase-free but also copyright-free. Users have the right to
modify, improve, develop, upgrade according to given general principles
stipulated in the license.
Open source GIS products are very diverse, however they can be
divided into four main branches three of which based on the programming
language, the last one focuses only on web development.
In principle, the development of open source WebGIS is based on the
development of open source GIS applications, although much more complex
because WebGIS is a composite of many components. Choosing branched
applications is very important to promote the advantages of programming
languages while ensuring compatibility and increasing system performance.
1.6. Physiological characteristics and cognitive abilities of 12th grade
Students of grade 12 are at the early stage of adolescence, which is the
period of important psychological changes. Self-consciousness is the
hallmark of this age, from which children develop their need for selfassessment and self-evaluation. This is the basis for teachers to apply
innovative learning methods, various organizational forms of teaching, to
organize cognitive activities and assignents to promote initiative and
creativity of students.
As for grade 12th students, intentionality is strongly developed in all
cognitive processes. Intended memorization plays a leading role in the
intellectual activity, while significance of abstract logic remembering is
increasing. Theoretical thinking, abstract thinking are obviously shown,
skills of reading map, comparing data in tables, charts .... has been
developed at a remarkable level even at proficient level for good/excellent
students. Organizing cognitive activities through WebGIS applications or
assignments with WebGIS can bring excitement and explore potentials of
students. However, the thinking capacity of grade 12th students is not
complete as adults, so they need guidance from the teacher to improve
their cognitive ability.
1.7. Objective and content of Grade 12 Geography
1.7.1. Objective of learning
After having completed the program, student is able to present his
systematic knowledge on geography of Vietnam (including physical
geography, population geography, economic geography and local studies);
to explain geographical phenomena (natural, socio-economic) in the reality
in regions and localities; to consolidate and develop skills in studying and
enquiring geography, in gathering, processing, synthesizing, notifying and
presenting geographic information, in applying geographic knowledge to
explain geographic phenomena and objects and initially to be involved in
solving those problems of life in accordance with their ability. Student to
form and to develop love to nature, native land, country; to have faith in
science; to have the will of the nation, the belief in the future of the
1.7.2. Grade 12 Geography curriculum
The Grade 12 Geography curriculum is structured in large units of
knowledge, scientifically arranged in accordance with the logic of the
teaching process, covers the main themes: Vietnam on the path of
innovation and integration, Physical geography of Vietnam, Population
geography, Geography of economic sectors, Geography of economic
regions and local geography.
Based on the distribution of the curriculum, Grade 12 Geograpgy
textbook consists of 45 lesson units, including 35 theoretical and 10
practical exercises lesson units.
For most of lessons there are maps inserted, Atlas Geography of
Vietnam or educational wall maps. Maps can be detached into thematic
layers or updated with new data. For some lessons new maps can be built
in combination with data mining in the textbook which facilitate the
organization of cognitive activities, help students easily to understand and
to remember the contents learned.
1.8. The current state of using teaching aids and the
application of ICT in teaching Grade 12 Geography
The author of the dissertation has conducted surveys at a number of high
schools for the purpose of: to understand the actual use of educational maps
in teaching Grade 12 Geography; advantages and disadvantages of using
existing maps to teach geography; to determine the actual material and
technical facilities, teaching means, especially the minimum technological
infrastructure to deploy teaching by WebGIS; to understand the teachers’
ability to apply ICT in teaching geography in high schools to facilitate the
opinion exchange and coordination during pedagogical experiment. The
thesis author used questionnaires for teachers and students in both direct and
The output of information collected from 58 geography teachers from 40
high schools in 17 provinces and cities shows that: Over 90% of respondents
regularly used, of which 35% very regularly used maps in teaching. Over
70% of respondents informed that their schools were equipped with wall
maps, atlases, map collection and globe and that they were satisfied with
the existing facilities of the school. The common sources of maps for
teaching were those in textbooks, atlas, map series, wall maps, globe,
digital maps and supporting software. Over 70% of respondents confirmed
said that they were able to search out maps on the Internet.
Many of respondent-teachers reported that they coped with difficulty in
using maps to teach such as out-of-date information, maps size so small,
map content overloaded. Therefore, when organizing a small activity or
breakdown in small groups, it was not easy to detach the map content for
each section or each group.
Concerning online maps (WebGIS), 2/3 of respondents had never used
them in life, over 70% of respondents never used to teach geography.
However, if there was an online mapping application (webGIS) for teaching
grade 12 geography, over 90% of respondents were willing to use.
The result of 300 feedbacks from the 12th grade students of mentioned
above schools showed that: 75% of the respondents were interested in the
use of maps in learning geography; 93% of them confirmed that maps
were very helpful for them to understand and memorize the lesson. The
majority of students confirmed that they were often instructed to use maps
in studying geography from the main sources as maps in textbooks, atlas,
map collection, wall maps, map pictures on the Internet.
Students also reflected some difficulties in using traditional educational
maps such as: it took time to update data, maps were so samll to identify
objects, map scale was fixed, etc.
70% of respondents reported that they never exploit, use Google Mapslike online maps (webGIS) for geography study. However, more than 95%
of students were willing to exploit and use an online map application under
the guidance of teachers if there is an online map application (webGIS) for
teaching 12th grade geography.
As such, WebGIS is still very new to geography teaching in high
schools, but the potential is huge and the implementation is feasible.
PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF
OPEN SOURCE WEBGIS IN TEACHING
2.1. Requirements and principles of development
and use of open source WebGIS in teaching Grade-12
- Concerning supportive ability for teaching and learning geography:
The content of the WebGIS must be relevant to the syllabus and contents
of the learning subject, in accordance with age-specific psychology and
cognitive ability of students. Information, data on WebGIS must be
updated. WebGIS must be simple, easy to use, must create favorable
conditions for teachers to teach, set up learning situations. Products must
be helpful to self-study, self-discovery knowledge. WebGIS should aim to
enhance interaction in teaching and learning of both teachers and students.
- Concerning physical conditions: The WebGIS application works
online, so it needs to be available an Internet or a mobile 3G, 4G. The
minimum classroom facilities require a computer / laptop and a projector
or large LCD screen.
- Concerning teachers and students: Teachers need to have certain
knowledge and skills in IT. Before each lesson, the teacher should
prepare a teaching scenario of using WebGIS and be careful not to overuse WebGIS; in teaching geography, it is still necessary to use in
combination with other visual types (charts, tables, figures, pictures ...)
and inherit existing educational maps in order to increase the learning
effectiveness of students.
For undertaking learning projects or some form of homework,
students should master some advanced features of WebGIS. That’s why
teacher needs to take time to direct students to practice with WebGIS,
while the project team must have members knowledgeable of IT.
- Scientific: Scientificity expresses in the accuracy of the mathematical
basis, at information full but not overloading. Scientificity also expresses
in the use of map language to ensure clear information, easy to remember
and to understand.
- Pedagogic: This WebGIS should only be used to support teaching for
grade 12 students. If it was used to teach classes higher or lower, then the
content will not be appropriate, not suitable with the quality, teaching
quality will not be guaranteed. Mapping should be carefully selected to
avoid overloading in terms of the number of maps and the amount of
information on each map. WebGIS should support the organization of
cognitive activities for students, easily interact and enable students to
- Visual: The product should facilitate students to discover important
objects on the map and the relationship between them and with other
geographical features. The colors should be distinct, symbol should be true
and friendly to help students to relate to the real objects.
- Modern and updated: WebGIS must reflect the latest advances in
geoscience and cartography, and apply the latest advances in modern
technology to the establishment and use of maps, meeting new
requirements of education.
- Aesthetic: The layout of the WebGIS must be neat and clear.
Thematic map layers must be central and occupy the mainstream. The
icons on the toolbar must be sharp and easy to find. Web page interface
should be bright; colors of objects and map layers must be harmonic,
logic, suitable for school environment.
- Interactive: Designer of WebGIS should pay attention to specific
instructional situations, provide a variety of tools to enhance the
interoperability of the system.
2.2. Determining map layers and information layers to be built on
Based on the objective and contents of the Grade 12 Geography
curriculum and specific lessons, and available resources, the author has
developed a matrix of map layers and information layers needed on
WebGIS. These data layers are comprised of two main groups: those
inherit from existing educational maps to be separated into classes, plus
data updates or new objects, and new additional groups.
Within the scope of the dissertation, the author built a WebGIS demo
with data layers for three selected lessons: Unit 13, Unit 24 and Unit 30.
2.3. The process of building WebGIS
According to the author's research, the webGIS development process has
seven basic steps (Figure 2.1).
Figure 2.1. The process of building webGIS
- Step 1: Define goals and requirements: The clarification of goals and
requirements of product is based on objective and contents of Grade 12
Geography and of each lesson, plan for cognitive activities of students,
teaching methods, means and activities.
- Step 2: Identify necessary map and information layers: the author has
summarized the current types of educational maps for teaching grade-12 to
make basis to identify necessary map and information layers in the
WebGIS product. This identification needs to ensure the inherit and
combination of traditional map sources, to create map layers with updated
data/content or new layers for teaching ideas.
- Step 3: Design and edit data: Based on matrix of map layers identified
in step 2, the author has organized data in two groups: background data
and thematic data.
- Step 4: Select WebGIS technology: Regarding WebGIS for teaching
Geography 12, the author has chosen the following technology
components: Apache for web server, GeoServer for map server; for client,
code Heron MC is use for creating interface; PostgreSQL/PostGIS is for
- Step 5: Build WebGIS structure and interface: The structure of
WebGIS for teaching Geography 12, similar to a normal Website, consists
of 3 basic tiers: interface, application server and data (figure 2.2).
Figure 2.2. Structure of WebGIS for teaching Grade 12 Geography
The product interface is tentatively designed with following
components: WebGIS banner or logo; administration of map layers;
display of map layers; reference; WebGIS toolbars.
- Step 6: Test. The objective of this step is to test the function of
WebGIS application and the display of data layers. Staring Apache and
Geoserver to create web and map services for application, then use web
browser to access it at: http://localhost/geo12.
- Step 7: Complete and practical experiment. In this step, the author has
solved more tasks or add other useful functions for the product. The author
published online WebGIS at the address http://emap12.tk to continue
testing and consulting experts to adjust and improve the product. After
that, pedagogical experiment is conducted, in line with the improvement of
2.4. Application of open source for developing WebGIS
The author has used following open sources: GeoServer, Apache,
PostgreSQL/PostGIS, QGIS, Heron MC and Leaflet library to develop
2.5. Introduction to WebGIS product
WebGIS supporting teaching Grade-12 Geography named WGT12
provides main functions as follows: 1/ Administration of thematic layers;
2/ Map pin; 3/ Edit; 4/ Print; 5/ Upload.
2.6. Using WebGIS in teaching Grade 12 Geography
2.6.1. Teaching process with the support of WebGIS
The author focuses on the method of using the product for two common
forms of teaching organization, namely class-based and small-group-based.
Regarding class-based teaching, the author identified and proposed the
process of using WebGIS consisting of following basic steps (Figure 2.22).
Step 1: Teacher activates thematic maps on WebGIS by scenario
Step 2: Teacher assigns tasks to students through WebGIS
Step 3: Students give results with the support of WebGIS
Step 4: Teacher finalizes the learning contents by using WebGIS
Figure 2.22. Steps to use WebGIS in class-based teaching
Regarding small-group-based teaching, the author proposed the use of
WebGIS for small groups consisting of following main steps (Figure 2.23).
Figure 2.23. Steps using WebGIS for small group learning
Step 1: Teacher divides the group
Step 2: Teacher distributes learning cards; groups to perform tasks
Step 3: Students report the results of group work with the support of
Step 4: Teacher provides the accurate content by using WebGIS
2.6.2. Utilize the features of WebGIS in some situations of teaching
In this paragraph, the author gave concrete instructions on utilizing the
features of WebGIS as: Search, identify objects by name; Locate the object
by coordinates; Add, edit, visualize self-created objects; Simultaneous
observation of objects; Provide information in form of multimedia; Create
an empty map; and Storage and reuse of digital data.
2.7. Selected lesson plans for illustration
2.7.1. Lesson plan N1
Lesson 13. Practice: Reading a physical map, filling in the blank
scheme with some mountain ranges and peaks
2.7.2. Lesson plan N2
Lesson 24: Fisheries and forestry development
2.7.3. Lesson plan N3
Lesson 30: The Development of transport and communication
CHAPTER 3: PEDAGOGICAL EXPERIMENT
3.1. Purposes, principles and methods
Pedagogical experiment to test the validity of theoretical studies and to
prove the feasibility and effectiveness of the developed open source
WebGIS and the use of WebGIS in teaching Grade 12 Geography. The
results and post-test analysis are the scientific basis for concluding wether
to accept or to reject the scientific hypothesis.
Pedagogical experiment process should ensure the following principles:
scientific and objective; Popular and representative; Practical.
The author used comparative experiment (Vũ Cao Đàm, 1999).
The evaluation of the pedagogical experiment is both qualitative and
3.2. Objects, location, timing
Grade-12 students at 04 high schools (07 experiment classes (EC) and
07 control classes (CC)).
Table 3.1 Name of schools and experiment teachers
Cau Giay High School
Thai Binh Special
School (Thai Binh
Van Lam High School
(Hung Yen province)
Yen Ninh High School
Total number of
Trần Hoài Thu
Lê Vân Anh
Nguyễn Thị Hồ Lý
Trần Hải Yến
Time for experiment is from October 2017 to April 2018.
3.3. Selection of lessons and implementation of experiment
3.3.1. Selection of lessons
Three lessons were selected for the experiment, as: Lesson 13; Lesson
24 and Lesson 30. Name of these lessons is mentioned in paragraph 2.7.
3.3.2. Implementation of experiment
For the experiment undertaken smoothly and effectively, the author
implemented the following steps. Step 1: Survey the reality; Step 2: Class
observation; Step 3: Select lesson, prepare lesson plan; Step 4: Instruct the
teacher to use WebGIS; Step 5: Teaching experiment and test; Step 6:
Survey and evaluate WebGIS.
3.4. Experiment results
3.4.1. Experiment test N1
Table 3.5. Combined parameters of test # 1
Table 3.6. The results of the one-factor analysis of test # 1
3.4.2. Experiment test N2
Table 3.9. Combined parameters of test # 2
Table 3.10. The results of the one-factor analysis of test # 2
3.4.3. Experiment test 3
Table 3.13. Combined parameters of test # 3
Table 3.14. The results of the one-factor analysis of test # 2
3.5. Evaluation of experiment
3.5.1. Quantitative evaluation
- The average scores of the experimental group were always higher than
those of the control group in all schools and all three tests (table 3.15).
Bảng 3.15. Synthetic of average scores of 3 tests
Cau Giay High
Thai Binh Gifted
Van Lam High
Yen Ninh High
- The proportion of good and excellent students in the experiment group
was the majority and tended to increase obviously through 3 tests. In the
control group, the index also tended to increase, with a lower rate and the
proportion was lower (Table 3.16).
Table 3.16. Test scores (unit: %)
Y - TB
Y - TB
Y - TB
- The S and V parameters of the three tests showed that the test point
trend of the EC group was more concentrated around the average score
than that of the CC group; it also means that the scores of students in EC
increased relatively evenly.
- Analysis of ANOVA showed that F> F crit, so hypothesis H 0 that
“there is no different effect between the using and not using WGT12 in
teaching Geography” is rejected. Data obtained from the experiment
showed that the exploitation and use of WebGIS in teaching Geography 12
has had a positive impact on students' cognitive abilities, knowledge
acquisition, capacity development, it is more effective than using those
resources commonly found in textbooks.
3.5.2. Qualitative assessment
Through discussion with the subject teachers, the teachers directly
taught EC group in particular and through observation of the teaching and
learning process in the classes of EC and CC, the author found that:
Most teachers were interested in having a new teaching tool like
WebGIS. However they also expressed their reluctance that they would
spend more time to exploit WebGIS or to change completely teaching
methods and teaching process. Fortunately, in fact, with the author’s
instruction, teachers have been quickly perform basic operations on
WebGIS. Moreover, those teachers who conducted experiment even
expressed their confidence, activeness from the first teaching hour.
The application of teaching methods as usual, although there were some
improvements in specific stages, no major obstacles to teachers to do in
the next lesson. In fact, WebGIS is a kind of educational map, however its
advantages over textbook maps are such the ability to move to the area,
zoom, manage thematic layers, etc. These characteristics can create
excitement for the teacher during the teaching process.
On the other side, students were interested in WebGIS in Geography
hour. They were firstly attracted by the modern technology and elements
of WebGIS, this was consistent with the mentality of youth in time of
Through cognitive activities in class, students actively participated in
discussions, lesson building. The author observed and recorded many
positive manifestations of attitudes and behaviors of students in the
experiment classes: They were more focused, less distracted, not showing
tired face, not refusing to speak; during the group discussion, they
cooperated with their teammates, actively debated and protected the views
of the group; they actively consulted teachers on the learning tasks.
Those classes which used WGT12 were interesting and exciting.
Students were so attentive so they seemed to understand faster and
3.6. Evaluation survey of WebGIS application
At the end of the experiment, the author has conducted the survey to get
feedbacks from teachers on the application of WGT12 aiming to enhance
the product. The survey was conducted through direct questionnaires with
teachers in the experiment schools, and through online survey with high
school geography teachers over the country. The author received responses
from 51 teachers. The feedbacks focused on the six main criteria of the
product to meet the principles and requirements, namely: scientific;
pedagogic; intuitive, modern and updated; aesthetic; interactive. Each of
these criteria consists of different components. The specific results are
summarized in Table 3.18.
Table 3.18. Summary of the evaluation from teachers on WGT12
1.1. Exact content
1.2. Specific content
1. Scientific 1.3. The components, toolbars of
the application is well arranged
1.4. Clear, specific manual
2.Pedagogic 2.1. Content suitable for curriculum
of Geography 12
2.2. Selected content avoids
2.3. In line with the active
2.4. Advantages to diversify the
forms of teaching geography
2.5. Consistent with students'
3.1. True, friendly symbols
3.2. The objects on the map are
shown in accordance with the scale
3. Intuitive 3.3. The objects on the map are
shown with contrast, clear and
3.4. Multi-media display
4.1. Easy access via web browser
4.2. Accessible on mobile devices
with a network connection
4. Modern 4.3. Quite stable download and
and updated upload
4.4. Update data and information
4.5. Flexible when deploying
5.1. Bright WebGIS interface colors
5.2. Harmonious, balanced WebGIS
5. Aesthetic layout
5.3. Map and information layers are
6.1. Ability to use the basic features
of WebGIS (zoom / turn, layer on /
off, move, search)
6.2. Ability to use WebGIS to
6.3. Ability to use WebGIS to
organize student’s learning
6.4. Ability to work with WebGIS
Survey results showed that the majority of teachers welcomed and had
positive evaluation for WebGIS products. More than 90% of comments
wre Good for all features of the product. Although the sample size is small,
the results are not representative yet for all users, but in the initial stage,
product had shown many advantages, it was welcomed by teachers and
students, and created certain effect on teaching and learning Geography.
Some shortcomings of the products were related to download speed
which depends on the transfer speed of the Internet, time consumed to
arrange map layers to make new map.