A New GISc Framework and Competency Set for Curricula Development at South African Universities

Heindrich du Plessis, Adriaan van Niekerk


In this study the commonalities and inconsistencies between three Geographical Information Science (GISc) competency sets are used to develop a new framework of essential competencies that can be used for curricula development at South African universities that meet local and international requirements. A prototype GISc framework of 16 knowledge areas (KAs), consisting of 20 fundamental and 89 core competencies, was introduced to a group of GISc experts to gauge its usefulness and to determine the relative importance of specific KAs. The responses showed that some KAs, in particular Physics and Organisational and Institutional Aspects are considered less important than Data Modelling and Geospatial Data. However, all the KAs were considered essential by the workshop participants for inclusion in the GISc framework. A simple algorithm was developed and implemented to determine whether a particular competency should be included in the GISc framework. The new framework is an extension of the Geographical Information Science and Technology (GI S&T) Body of Knowledge (BoK) and consists of 14 KAs and can be used to develop curricula that meet the requirements of the South African and international GISc industries.


Full Text: PDF