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GGP 350 Geographic Info Systems (GIS)
Fox, David P.


Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

Course

GGP 350 Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Semester

FA 2008 HO

Faculty

Fox, David P.

Title

Assistant Professor of Geography

Degrees/Certificates

(PhD student Geography, University of Kansas)
MA Geography, University of Missouri-Columbia
BA Geography, University of Missouri-Columbia

Office Location

Findlay-Wakefield Science Hall (SC)003B

Office Hours

M/F 11:00-12:30, T/R 11:30-1:00

Daytime Phone

(816)584-6813

E-Mail

david.fox@park.edu

Semester Dates

Aug 18 - Dec 12, 2008

Class Days

T/R

Class Time

1:00-2:15 pm

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:

Getting To Know ArcGIS Desktop (2nd edition) by Tim Ormsby, et. al.  ESRI Press, 2004.  ISBN: 978-1-58948-083-4.
 
 

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) - The makers of ArcGIS software: http://www.esri.com

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
This course introduces the student to the theoretical, conceptual, and practical aspects of the collection, storage, analysis, and display of spatial data. Emphasis will be placed on the application of geographic information systems. Laboratory projects involving student use of computers will be required. 3:0:3.

Educational Philosophy:

My educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, quizzes, dialogues, examinations, internet, videos, and writings.  My goal is to create a positive, interactive, challenging, engaging, lively, and even, at times, confusing (believe it or not) classroom environment.  But my success in doing so is largely dependent upon you--your willingness to engage in class discussion, to ask questions, to share your opinions and knowledge from other learning experiences.  I believe that education is most effective when approached as a process during which the teacher and students share equally in contributing to the learning that takes place.  Rather than being the "sage on the stage" or a "fountain of wisdom" (neither of which I am), I will attempt to guide, encourage, and facilitate your learning.  Therefore, you will be expected to come to class prepared to discuss, debate, reflect on, analyze, evaluate, and question the readings and other class material every bit as much as I am.  Put simply, I believe that you will get out of this class what you put into it.
 

 

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply GIS software to mapping problems and perform basic GIS operations including queries, spatial joins, map overlay, and geocoding.
  2. Construct and design maps using GIS software.
  3. Analyze data sets for usability and validity within a GIS.
  4. Evaluate the variety of uses for GIS and how it can be used to impact the regional and global community.


Core Assessment:

Core Assessment Description & Instructions

The Core Assessment for this course is meant to be an in-depth exploration and evaluation of the application of GIS technology to a particular problem/need that has recently been attempted.  You should choose a specific application that is related to your interests and write a 10-12 page research paper in which you:

1) Introduction: Clearly identify the problem/need and how GIS specifically assists in solving/addressing this issue,

2) Data Analysis: Analyze the types of data that were used for this application (How much of it is readily available?  Does this application require special data collection techniques?), [CLO#3; Analysis]

3) Techniques Discussion: Identify and describe the types of GIS operations and spatial analysis procedures that have been performed with the data (In particular, focus on discussing those operations that were used that we have learned about in this course), [CLO#1; Application]

4) Evaluation: Evaluate this application of GIS to this particular problem/need (How successful is GIS at addressing the problem/need?  How significant are the solutions/answers that GIS is currently able to help provide for this issue?  Are there limitations or common problems/issues encountered in the application of GIS to this topic?  If so, what are they?  Do you think GIS is an appropriate tool for addressing this problem/need?), [CLO#4; Evaluation]

5) Conclusion: Discuss/propose additional ways in which you think the use of GIS could be extended with this application. [Synthesis]

6) Works Cited: List, alphabetically, any sources you cited within the paper (Note: You must have at least 8 different sources) using either APA or MLA documentation style.  Be advised that this means you must also have used either footnotes or parenthetical citations within the paper itself.

 

The paper must be typed, double-spaced, standard 12-point font, 10-12 pages in length, with a minimum of 8 sources.  All sources must be appropriately documented in a works cited page and you must use either footnotes or parenthetical citations within the text.  You should include examples of maps, datasets, etc., that have been created with GIS for this particular application.  Note: Figures, charts, diagrams, etc., do not count as part of the page requirement for this assignment.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Assignments:  Six (6) assignments designed to reinforce and extend student learning of the material covered in the course will be given.  These assignments are intended to assess your learning of how to apply ArcGIS software to create maps and perform basic spatial analysis operations.  While some class time will be available for work on these assignments, you should primarily consider them homework assignments, and you should therefore expect to spend additional time in the GIS Lab each week in order to complete them.  Also, you should be aware that at least one of the assignments may require you to work with a partner.
 
Learning Activities:  A variety of short assignments will be given during selected class periods.  The dates for these activities will most often be unannounced.  Some are designed to reinforce or extend learning about particular concepts or information being discussed, while others may be meant to help you prepare material for an assignment or to informally check your understanding of certain skills.  One of the activities will be to help with the GIS Day event that will be conducted by the Park University Geo-Club on Wed., Nov. 19.  In addition, some activities may require student use of the eCompanion website outside of the regular class period.  All students will be allowed ONE opportunity to complete a make-up assignment for a missed learning activity.  Only those students who have provided appropriate notificiation to the instructor for multiple excused absences (such as a medical problem requiring hospitalization or participation in Park University athletic competitions) will be allowed any additional make-up assignment opportunities.
 
Exams:  Mid-term & Final Exams consisting of multiple choice, matching, true/false, short answer, and short essay questions.  The exams will focus on the terminology, concepts, and theoretical material presented in class, rather than the "how-to" of using ArcGIS software.
 
Paper (Core Assessment):  Research paper on a selected application of GIS technology.  The primary requirements are provided above in the Core Assessment section.  Additional details will be discussed in class.  Also, you should be aware that giving a 3-5 minute summary presentation of your paper will be required as part of your grade for this assignment.
 
 

Grading:

 
15% Learning Activities
30% Assignments
15% Mid-term Exam
20% Final Exam
20% Paper (Core Assessment)

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Assignments submitted at any time after the class period on the announced due date will be penalized 10% of the grade for each day they are late.  If you have arranged for or been granted an excused absence by the instructor for a class period during which an assignment is due, then you must submit the work by the alternate date arranged with the instructor.  Failure to do so will result in a 10% deduction per day after the alternate due date.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

- Class participation is considered an essential part of the learning process.  Part of your course grade specifically consists of your participation in class discussions and learning activities and you can only earn this credit if you are present (exceptions will only be made for those students who have properly submitted documentation for an excused absence).  Also, be aware that the instructor is required to submit attendance for each class period and that the Park University attendance policy will be strictly followed.  This policy states that any student who has two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences will be administratively withdrawn.   

- The instructor strives to create an informal and non-threatening classroom environment for class discussion.  Since this is an educational forum, the instructor expects each student to act accordingly.  Therefore, students will be expected to treat fellow students and the instructor with respect.  Disruptive or disrespectful behavior toward another student or the instructor will not be tolerated, and the offending student(s) will be asked to leave the classroom for the remainder of the period (which will affect the student's class participation score).  Repeated occurrences of such behavior will be grounds for further administrative action as allowed by the Park University student code of conduct. 

- All students will be held accountable for any material presented or discussed or through assigned readings.  It is the responsibility of the student to obtain all materials and information missed during a class session, regardless of whether or not the absence is excused by the instructor.  Failure on the part of the student to acquire missed information – for any reason (excused or unexcused absence, leaving class early, etc.) – will not excuse the student from questions over that material on any assessment activity (quiz, exam, portfolio assignment, etc.).
 
- Students will be expected to use the eCompanion website for the course available at www.parkonline.org.  Some assignments/activities may be required to be completed online either during or outside of the regularly scheduled class time.  Students are expected to notify the instructor in advance of the due date of any questions or concerns accessing this website.

- Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  However, students must recognize that technology can also be problematic.  Students are expected to be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technological problems that may be encountered.  Therefore, computer problems will NOT automatically be considered grounds for having late work excused.  Be sure to save copies of your work to both a disk and your computer hard drive and print extra paper copies for backup purposes. 

- Repeated failure to adhere to any of these guidelines for classroom conduct may result in a deduction of one letter grade to the student's final grade for each occurrence after the instructor has discussed the issue with the student.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Below is the tentative schedule for the semester. Adjustments may be made as deemed necessary by the instructor.

Week Dates Assigned Chapters Assessments
1 Aug 18-22 Ch. 1: Intro to GIS & Ch. 2: Intro to ArcGIS Software  
2 Aug 25-29 Ch. 3: ArcMap & Ch. 4: ArcCatalog Assignment #1 due
3 Sept 1-5 Ch. 13: Projecting Data & Ch. 5: Symbolization   
4 Sept 8-12 Ch. 6: Classification & Ch. 7: Labeling Assignment #2 due
5 Sept 15-19 Ch. 18: Map Templates & Ch. 19: Maps for Presentations  
6 Sept 22-26 Ch. 8: Querying Assignment #3 due
7 Sept 29-Oct 3 Ch. 9: Joins & Relates  
8 Oct 6-10 MID-TERM EXAM; Ch. 10: Select by Location MID-TERM EXAM Oct 7
9 Oct 13-17 (No classes - FALL BREAK)  
10 Oct 20-24 Ch. 17: Geocoding  
11 Oct 27-31 Ch. 11: Preparing Data Assignment #4 due
12 Nov 3-7 Ch. 12: Analyzing Spatial Data (Buffering, etc.)  
13 Nov 10-14 Ch. 14: Geodatabases & Ch. 15: Creating Features Assignment #5 due
14 Nov 17-21 Ch. 16 Editing Features GIS Day activity Nov 19
15 Nov 24-28 Review (No class Nov 27 - Thanksgiving) Assignment #6 due
16 Dec 1-5 Presentations Presentations; Paper due
17 Dec 8-12 FINAL EXAM, Dec 9, 1:00-3:00 FINAL EXAM Dec 9

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
Students will receive a zero (i.e., no credit) for any assignment that has violated the Academic Honesty and Plagiarism policies in any way.  In addition, the student may be reported to the Dean for any additional disciplinary action that is deemed appropriate by the university.

Plagiarism:
Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
THIS POLICY WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.  ANY INSTANCE OF PLAGIARISM WILL RESULT IN A ZERO (I.E., NO CREDIT) FOR THE ASSIGNMENT ON WHICH IT OCCURS.  IF YOU ARE AT ALL UNCERTAIN ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU MAY BE COMMITTING PLAGIARISM AS DESCRIBED ABOVE, YOU ARE EXPECTED TO ASK THE INSTRUCTOR BEFORE SUBMITTING THE WORK FOR GRADING.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .



Rubric

CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Outcomes
4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
The paper contains an Evaluation section in which the student thoroughly evaluates this application of GIS to this particular problem/need by providing thoughtful responses to all of the following questions:

- How successful is GIS at addressing the problem/need?  

- How significant are the solutions/answers that GIS is currently able to help provide for this issue?  

- Are there limitations or common problems/issues encountered in the application of GIS to this topic?  If so, what are they and can they be addressed?  

- Do you think GIS is an appropriate tool for addressing this problem/need?

 
The paper contains an Evaluation section in which the student evaluates this application of GIS to this particular problem/need by providing responses to all of the following questions, however, one or two of the responses are minimal or are superficial:

- How successful is GIS at addressing the problem/need?  

- How significant are the solutions/answers that GIS is currently able to help provide for this issue?  

- Are there limitations or common problems/issues encountered in the application of GIS to this topic?  If so, what are they and can they be addressed?  

- Do you think GIS is an appropriate tool for addressing this problem/need?

 
The student has made some attempt to evaluate this application of GIS to this particular problem/need, however, three or more of the following questions are not addressed or are done so in very limited and/or superficial ways:

- How successful is GIS at addressing the problem/need?  

- How significant are the solutions/answers that GIS is currently able to help provide for this issue?  

- Are there limitations or common problems/issues encountered in the application of GIS to this topic?  If so, what are they and can they be addressed?  

- Do you think GIS is an appropriate tool for addressing this problem/need?

 
The paper does not include any evidence of evaluating the selected application of GIS to a problem/need. 
Synthesis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Outcomes
1, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
The paper includes a section in which the student thoughtfully discusses/proposes additional ways in which he/she thinks the use of GIS could be extended with this application. The paper includes a section in which the student discusses/proposes additional ways in which he/she thinks the use of GIS could be extended with this application, however, the student's comments may be somewhat simplistic or superficial. The student discusses/proposes additional ways in which he/she thinks the use of GIS could be extended with this application, however, the student's comments are extremely limited and/or simplistic. The paper does not include any evidence of the student's attempt to propose additional ways in which he/she thinks the use of GIS could be extended with this application. 
Analysis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Outcomes
3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
The paper includes a Data Analysis section in which the student thoughtfully analyzes the types of data that were used for this application and, at minimum, provides responses to the following questions:

- How much of it is readily available?  

- Does this application require special data collection techniques?

 
The paper includes a Data Analysis section in which the student analyzes the types of data that were used for this application and provides responses to the following questions:

- How much of it is readily available?  

- Does this application require special data collection techniques?

 
The student attempts to analyze the types of data that were used for this application, however the responses are very limited or superficial

AND/OR

Neither of the following questions are answered:

- How much of it is readily available?  

- Does this application require special data collection techniques?

 
The paper does not include any evidence of the student's attempt to analyze the types of data that were used for this application. 
Application                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Outcomes
1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
The paper includes a Techniques Discussion section in which the student thoughtfully identifies and describes the types of GIS operations and spatial analysis procedures that have been performed with the data.  

AND

The student particularly focuses on discussing those operations used in this application that were learned about in this course.

AND

The student has correctly identified and described the GIS operations used.

 
The paper includes a Techniques Discussion section in which the student identifies and describes the types of GIS operations and spatial analysis procedures that have been performed with the data.  

AND/OR

The student discusses those operations used in this application that were learned about in this course, however, this discussion is limited or superficial.

AND/OR

The student has made one or two errors in identifying or describing the GIS operations used.

 
The students attempts to identify and describe the types of GIS operations and spatial analysis procedures that have been performed with the data, however, he/she:

- Does not discuss those operations used in this application that were learned about in this course or does so in an extremely limited or superficial manner.

AND/OR

- Has made three or more errors in identifying or describing the GIS operations used.

 
The paper does not include any evidence of the student's attempt to identify and describe the types of GIS operations and spatial analysis procedures that have been performed with the data. 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Outcomes
4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
The paper includes an Introduction in which the student clearly and accurately identifies the problem/need and how GIS specifically assists in solving/addressing this issue

AND

The paper includes examples of maps, datasets, etc., that have been created with GIS for this particular application.

AND

The paper is 10-12 pages in length (not including supplemental maps, datasets, etc.)

 
The paper includes an Introduction in which the student identifies the problem/need and how GIS specifically assists in solving/addressing this issue, however, it may be somewhat unclearly or inaccurately stated.

AND/OR

The paper does not include examples of maps, datasets, etc., that have been created with GIS for this particular application.

AND/OR

The paper is only 9 pages in length (not including supplemental maps, datasets, etc.)

 
The student attempts to identify the problem/need and how GIS specifically assists in solving/addressing this issue, however, it is done so in a very confusing or inaccurate way.

AND/OR

The paper does not include examples of maps, datasets, etc., that have been created with GIS for this particular application.

AND/OR

The paper is less than 9 pages in length (not including supplemental maps, datasets, etc.)

 
The paper does not include any evidence of the student's attempt to identify the problem/need and how GIS specifically assists in solving/addressing this issue. 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Outcomes
4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
The paper includes a Works Cited Page of all the sources cited within the paper and that is arranged alphabetically.

AND

More than 8 different sources were used.

AND

Either APA or MLA documentation style is properly used.

AND

Either footnotes or parenthetical citations were appropriately used in a consistent manner within the paper itself.

AND

The paper is virtually error free of spelling or grammatical errors.

 
The paper includes a Works Cited Page of all the sources cited within the paper and that is arranged alphabetically.

AND/OR

8 different sources were used.

AND/OR

Either APA or MLA documentation style is used, although there may be a few minor errors.

AND/OR

Either footnotes or parenthetical citations were used within the paper itself, although there may be a few minor errors of appropriate citation or consistency of formatting style.

AND/OR

The paper is mostly error free of spelling or grammatical errors, although it may contain a few minor errors.

 
The paper includes a Works Cited Page but it is not arranged alphabetically or it does not include all of the sources cited in the paper.

AND/OR

Less than 8 different sources were used.

AND/OR

Neither APA nor MLA documentation style is used.

AND/OR

Neither footnotes nor parenthetical citations were used within the paper itself or there are several major errors of appropriate citation or consistency of formatting style.

AND/OR

The paper contains numerous spelling or grammatical errors.

 
The paper does not include a Works Cited Page or any attempt to document the source of the material presented. 
Civic Literacy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Outcomes
4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
The student clearly and thoughtfully identifies the value of the selected application of GIS technology in addressing issues of local, national, or even international concern. The student identifies the value of the selected application of GIS technology in addressing issues of local, national, or even international concern, however, this discussion is somewhat limited or superficial in nature. The student attempts to identify the value of the selected application of GIS technology in addressing issues of local, national, or even international concern, however, this discussion is extremely limited, unclear, or superficial in nature. The paper does not include any evidence of the student's attempt to identify the value of the selected application of GIS technology in addressing issues of local, national, or even international concern. 
Geography Program Competency #7                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Outcomes
3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Through the written work in this paper, the student has clearly and effectively demonstrated the ability to identify a geographic a problem and then determine the scope of the problem by analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating pertinent data, and applying geographic ideas. Through the written work in this paper, the student has demonstrated the ability to identify a geographic a problem and then determine the scope of the problem by analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating pertinent data, and applying geographic ideas, although this evidence is somewhat limited or superficial in nature. Through the written work in this paper, the student has attempted to demonstrate the ability to identify a geographic a problem and then determine the scope of the problem by analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating pertinent data, and applying geographic ideas, however, this evidence is extremely limited or superficial in nature OR is largely inaccurate. The paper does not include any evidence of the student's attempt to demonstrate the ability to identify a geographic a problem and then determine the scope of the problem by analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating pertinent data, and applying geographic ideas. 

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Last Updated:8/9/2008 7:34:13 AM