Sandra Sanchez-Gordon Blog

Researcher and professor



Publication: Web Accessibility Evaluation of Massive Open Online Courses on Geographical Information Systems

Appears in: IEEE Xplore Digital Library
Pages: 680-686
Publication year: 2014
Conference: IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON 2014) 
Dates: 3-5 April
Location:Istambul, Turkey


Calle-Jimenez, Tania; Sanchez-Gordon, Sandra; Luján-Mora, Sergio. Web Accessibility Evaluation of Massive Open Online Courses on Geographical Information SystemsIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON 2014), pp. 680-686, Istambul (Turkey), April 3-5, 2014. DOI:


This paper describes some of the challenges that exist to make accessible massive open online courses (MOOCs) on Geographical Information Systems (GIS). These courses are known by the generic name of Geo-MOOCs. A MOOC is an online course that is open to the general public for free, which causes a massive registration. A GIS is a computer application that acquire, manipulate, manage, model and visualize geo-referenced data. The goal of a Geo-MOOC is to expand the culture of spatial thinking and the use of geographic information, enabling geospatial web technologies for widespread use. However, the Geo-MOOCs, by nature, have inherent problems of accessibility. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Article 24, recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education. States Parties must ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access general tertiary education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning without discrimination and on an equal basis with others. Therefore, it is important to have accessible Geo-MOOCs. In this paper, we present the results of the evaluation of a Geo-MOOC called “Maps and the Geospatial Revolution” using three tools available for free on the Internet: Chrome Developer Tools – Accessibility Audit, eXaminator and WAVE; and included a selection of web content and geographical data representative of the course. This provided feedback for establishing recommendations to improve the accessibility of the analyzed course. Other Geo-MOOCs can also benefit from these recommendations.


Geographical Information Systems; Massive Open Online Courses; Geo-MOOC; Web Accessibility; Automatic Accessibility Evaluation Tools.


This work has been partially supported by the Prometeo  Project by SENESCYT, Ecuadorian Government.


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