It is very important that students keep up with the pace of course assignments. Students who fall too far behind will be asked to drop the class. If, for some reason, you must turn in an assignment late, notify the instructors immediately by email. The final project must be presented during the final week of class with no exceptions.

Course progress will be evaluated using the following criteria:

Participation & Progress [10%]:

Learning GIS takes a certain amount of perseverance and discipline. For this reason, we take into consideration whether students are keeping up with assignments and progressing with the course work. While class attendance is not required, it is strongly recommended. Although in-class lab exercises will not be officially counted towards your grade, the results of lab exercises that are posted to your web page will help us track your progress.

Lab and tutorial assignments [20%]:

All tutorial and lab assignments must be completed and posted to your web page by midnight Tuesday  of each week.  There will be no exceptions.  There are 3 grade levels for each lab and tutorial:

  1. Pass (equivalent of an “A”)
  2. Incomplete or Late (equivalent of a “C”)
  3. Fail (equivalent of an “F”)

Mid-term project [25%]:

The mid-term project indicates that you have mastered basic GIS skills. Your maps and short write-up must be posted to your web page.

Final project [50%]:

The final project indicates that you have used your mapping and analysis skills to investigate a planning/policy issue. Your maps and short write-up must be posted to your web page. In addition, all students are required to present their final project during the Final Project Presentations at the last meeting of the class.

I. Tutorial Assignments

In the tutorials, students are expected to independently complete the chapters of the tutorial Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop (Includes 2 CD-ROMs).

This book should be available in the LuValle bookstore or by ordering online (from Amazon books, etc.). When installing the ArcMap software on your computer, BE SURE TO INSTALL ALL OF THE EXTENSIONS!

The tutorials element requires considerable time. This is primarily a self-learning stage, but the instructors will be available for consultation if needed. Progress will be tracked through graphic files you will post on your web pages and in-class lab exercises. These exercises require students to demonstrate an understanding of the skills introduced in the tutorial exercises. They are designed to be relatively straight-forward if students have completed the required tutorial chapters.

II. In-class Lab Assignments

Each week students will complete one or more instructor-guided lab assignments, which focus on specific aspects of GIS data analysis, manipulation and presentation. The assignments are accompanied by detailed step-by-step instructions.

III. Mid-term and Final Projects

The midterm and final projects are two phases in a process of translating the skills and knowledge you accumulate in the course into a document in which you use GIS to analyze a policy or planning issue. The topic and design of the final project must be approved by the instructor or teaching assistants.

In the mid-term element of the project, students design and prepare the descriptive elements of their final product. Students are required to acquire spatial and tabular data and produce demographic and other thematic maps relevant to their chosen planning or policy issue. Midterm projects will be presented in class on the 6th week of the quarter. Students are required to make a brief presentation of maps and charts which concisely and clearly address their project.

In the final project the students will perform the analytic elements of their analysis to address a planning problem of interest. The analysis should draw from a combination of geographic and attribute data including data from an original source.

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