A concept that is central to the teaching of GIS, geography, environmental science, and other disciplines is scale. One effective way to teach about scale is to use a subject that most people have at least some grasp of--world countries. This new and amazing 3D web mapping application allows instructors and students to quickly and effectively compare the sizes of world countries. It thus can serve as an effective way to teach and learn about scale and related concepts.
In this monograph and video, Dr Josef Strobl from the University of Salzburg and Dr Joseph Kerski from Esri and the University of Denver advocate the movement in education from domains to dimensions, from compartments to context, from isolation (of views) to integration.
Connecting metacognitive knowledge to GIS instruction can help guide instructors in planning activities, courses, and programs, including assessing student work and building in plenty of self-reflection and engagement. For more, see these reflections in video form.