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Geographic Information Systems

Author Profile
Matthew Stutz
,
stutzmat@meredith.edu

Meredith College
a
Private four-year institution, primarily undergraduate
.

Summary

The course introduces students to ideas and applications related to GIS. It is intended to include a significant hands-on component involving the use of common GIS software, GPS technology, and problem-solving. Students do not have the opportunity to take a more advanced course.

Course URL:
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Course Size:

less than 15

Course Context:

This is an introductory course open to all students in the college and not a requisite for any major degree program. There is no other GIS course in the curriculum so this is the only course available to students. It involves the use of course-specific technology (ArcView software) and dedicated lab space. Students may have access to the software on personal laptops but not always.

Course Goals:

  1. Students will be able to manipulate the four essential functions of a GIS: data input, data storage and retrieval, data analysis, and geographic display of data.
  2. Students will be able to evaluate the design and functionality of maps as a media form.
  3. Students will be able to formulate a geographic question or problem, evaluate relevant sources of data to address the problem, and analyze it utilizing one or more appropriate spatial analysis techniques.
  4. Students will be able to capture and process data with a GPS receiver.
  5. Students will be able to use ArcGIS software to perform basic map display and analysis functions.


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

The course goals are threaded through a class mapping project that follows the work flow of GIS project development. The project is completed in a series of increments as students pick up new knowledge, skills, and techniques.

Skills Goals

  1. Students will be able to capture and process data with a GPS receiver.
  2. Students will be able to use ArcGIS software to perform basic map display and analysis functions.


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Although these are included in overarching goals because they are discipline-specific, they are also technology and skills-based. Completion of the class project will require students to use these tools as a necessary skill.

Assessment

Students will be assessed informally on fundamental concepts during class time with a variety of methods.
Graded assessments include an ArcView practical exam, and the components of the project, using a project-specific rubric (to be posted later)

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