Self-assessment in student’s learning and developing teaching in geoinformatics–case of Geoportti self-assessment tool

Nora Fagerholm*, Eliisa Lotsari, Tua Nylén, Niina Käyhkö, Jussi Nikander, Vesa Arki, Risto Kalliola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In successful geoinformatics education, students’ active role in the learning process, e.g. through applying self-assessment, show an increasing interest but the evidence of benefits and challenges of self-assessment are sporadic. In this article, we examine the usefulness of an online self-assessment tool developed for geoinformatics education. We gathered data in two Finnish universities on five courses (n = 11–73 students/course) between 2019 and 2021. We examined 1) how the students’ self-assessed knowledge and understanding in geoinformatics subject topics changed during a course, 2) how the competencies at the end of a course changed between the years in different courses, and 3) what was the perceived usefulness of the self-assessment approach among the students. The results indicate support for the implementation of self-assessment, both as a formative and summative assessment. However, it is crucial to ensure that the students understand the contents of the self-assessment subject topics. To increase students’ motivation to take a self-assessment, it is crucial that the teacher actively highlights how it supports their studying and learning. As the teachers of the examined courses, we discuss the benefits and challenges of the self-assessment approach and the applied tool for the future development of geoinformatics education.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geography in Higher Education
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Sept 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Formative assessment
  • GIS
  • self-efficacy
  • self-regulated learning
  • summative assessment


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