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This page first made public: Aug 17, 2010

Take home mid-term exam

Qian Yu, University of Massachusetts-Amherst


This is the 2nd midterm exam for an introductory level GIS course at 2/3 of the semester. It is an open book take-home exam. This exam is held after student leaned basic spatial analysis of both raster and vectors. (The 1st mid-term at 1/3 of the semester was a closed book written exam in class, which mainly tests GIS concepts.)


Type and level of course
Introductory GIS course for geology, geography and earth system majors.

Geoscience background assumed in this assignment
Not required.

GIS/remote sensing skills/background assumed in this assignment
Concepts of GIS, spatial analysis functions, terrain analysis functions.

Software required for this assignment/activity:
ArcGIS v9.3 with Spatial analyst extension

Time required for students to complete the assignment:
3 hours


GIS/remote sensing techniques students learn in this assignment
This exam is to assess students in the following levels:

1. Understand the basic spatial analysis available in ArcToolbox, such as zonal statistics,spatial join,terrain analysis,and interpolation.

2. Use GIS tools to solve a technical question using real research data, which might have different solutions.

3. Design a spatial analysis procedure for a project to meet the criteria defined by customers.

Other content/concepts goals for this activity

This exam integrates knowledge from first 2/3 of the course. It also encourages students to use critical thinking both in technical skills and GIS theory.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Rather than working on step-by-step tutorials, students are required to come up with a procedure to solve one real research question and one hypothetical modeling question.

Description of the activity/assignment

Students are given a week to finish this take-home exam. The exam tests GIS concepts, solving GIS question using real research data,and building a model to map the cuddybear habitat. This activity gives students practice in GIS functions learned from previous lab and also requires students to think independently to solve real GIS questions.

Determining whether students have met the goals

The grading points are shown in the exam sheet.
More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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