Don Boyes, Ph.D.

GIS Education, Digital Teaching and Learning

About me

Don Boyes, Ph.D., FRCGS
Academic Director, Arts and Science Online Learning Academy
Professor, Teaching Stream
Room 5011, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street
Dept. of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto
don.boyes@utoronto.ca

I specialize in teaching the theory and application of geographic information systems (GIS) to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Toronto.  I have taught several GIS courses that draw students from a wide variety of disciplines. I also offer four online GIS courses through Coursera that are massive open online courses (MOOCs).

I am also the Academic Director of the Arts & Science Online Learning Academy, which supports instructors in teaching high quality online and hybrid courses.  

As a full professor in the teaching stream, I am a full-time, permanent faculty member specializing in teaching. I have a strong interest in teaching and learning with technology and associated pedagogical development, and I sit on several related committees at the university.

Our department is one of the oldest and largest geography departments in North America, with over 2,500 undergraduate and 200 graduate students enrolled in geography courses each term on the downtown (St. George) campus.  The University of Toronto is Canada’s largest university, with over 75,000 students enrolled across three campuses.

List of presentations, publications, etc. 

Recent podcast interview

I was recently interviewed by Daniel O’Donohue for the MapScaping Podcast, where we talked about GIS education with a focus on current trends, advice for those just getting into the field, and how GIS can be taught online. You can listen below or through your favourite podcast app!  

GIS courses

I have taught GIS courses from introductory to advanced, as well as at the graduate level. My goal is for students to learn both skills and theory that they can connect to their own interests. 

Course descriptions

Coursera specialization with course list 

Student resources

If you are one of my students, or considering taking courses with me, the links below might be helpful. 

Student FAQ (frequently asked questions)

GIS careers and post-graduate programs

Reference letters

Requests for supervision 

GIS textbooks 

Digital teaching and learning

I teach courses in online, hybrid, and in-person formats. I believe in the power of educational technology to increase learning access, equity, efficiency, and effectiveness. 

List of equipment I use for online and hybrid teaching 

YouTube channel (some sample videos are below)

Previous posts

New beginnings

As happens with many bloggers, I gave it up for a long time. As also often happens, I have decided to give it another go. I make no promises, but have to admit I have been feeling like I would like to have a place to share things I'm working ...
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Esri Story Maps are alright!

I know that Esri story maps have been around for quite a while, but I am only finally learning how to create them now. For some reason, I was quite resistant to using them, but now that I have created a couple I have to say they could be really ...
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Tips on getting started with teaching GIS online

I was recently contacted by someone asking for advice about developing and teaching an online GIS course. What follows is based on what I wrote in my e-mail response. I’m pretty new to this myself, having taught my first online GIS course last fall, but perhaps that’s a good thing, ...
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