GEOG19021 - Geographic Information Systems

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) power decision making for a massive raft of earth and human system interactions in research, government and industry – far beyond the cartographic public face that is Google maps. You will be gain introductory practical skill in making electronic maps and analysing geographical data. You will explore key mapping concepts that underpin GIS, as well as practice some of the key map communication standards that are as important today as they were for Geradus Mercator in the 16th century.

Details

Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite: Minimum of 18 Units of Credit

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2020

Term 1 - 2020 Profile
Online
Term 1 - 2021 Profile
Online

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Practical Assessment 10%
2. Practical Assessment 15%
3. Practical Assessment 20%
4. Practical Assessment 25%
5. Practical Assessment 30%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

No previous feedback available

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student feedback.
Feedback
Explaining the relevance of GIS to disciplines beyond environmental management and town planning would be more engaging to a wider range of students (i.e public health).
Recommendation
In each week of the term provide a wider range of organisational use of GIS as examples - particularly employment related.
Action Taken
Each week of the term contains employment related examples of GIS-in-use across many employment types.
Source: Student feedback.
Feedback
Add more instruction on cartography and mapping aesthetic practice - and advise students where assessment feedback is stored in Moodle.
Recommendation
Add/describe an exemplar of cartographic practice to the learning activities. Update the assessment instructions to note where lecturer assessment feedback is stored in the Moodle site.
Action Taken
The task brief for the assessment was updated - and an exemplar from a previous year was provided.
Source: Student feedback.
Feedback
The textbook is US-centric and further relevant Australian mapping data manipulation practice would be useful. The unit proceeds as a 'step-by-step-how-to-do' sequence and skills practice beyond the textbook would consolidate skills acquisition.
Recommendation
The secret to teaching a software skills acquisition unit by distance education is a textbook with a good instructional design. The prescribed textbook fits that description - but it is US-centric. The assessment portfolios will be restructured to add further 'beyond textbook' exercises using AU mapping data - without adding to the current extensive workload for the student.
Action Taken
A review of the assessment design indicated that the assessments should not contain more items than they currently have or else the unit would take more time to undertake than is permitted under CQUniversity policy. An Australian-centric suite of exercises to replace the US-centric ones will require a complete unit redesign to replace the textbook and downloaded GIS exercise mapping data, which may be contemplated for 2022.
Source: Student feedback.
Feedback
Some students wanted to explore advanced GIS and digital mapping skills.
Recommendation
GEOG19021 is intentionally an introduction to GIS to suit a wide range of student disciplines. A new 'Spatial Analysis' unit is being designed and, subject to CQUniversity approval processes, could be ready by 2020. This unit will provide advanced GIS skills acquisition. In time other CQU schools will introduce GIS use in their discipline domain advanced studies for which GEOG19021 should be a prerequisite.
Action Taken
The new GEOG13014 'Advanced GIS' unit commences in term 2 2020.
Source: Student feedback.
Feedback
Students indicate learning ESRI ArcGIS in distance mode is a challenging assignment - with textbook costs, Microsoft Windows-centric software and IT issues causing frustration.
Recommendation
The unit coordinator agrees that teaching sophisticated software skill acquisition via distance education is not ideal. After 2021 the unit coordinator plans to transition the learning material from ArcGIS Desktop to ArcGIS-online thus allowing access to the system for Mac and Windows users.
Action Taken
Nil.
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Explain how earth measurement theory underpins the production of electronic maps;
  2. Replicate a range of GIS mapping operations using point, line, polygon and raster data samples;
  3. Reproduce GIS based maps that meet cartographic theory, standards and practice;
  4. Solve introductory spatial analysis problems using GIS data management and manipulation functions.

Nil

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Practical Assessment
2 - Practical Assessment
3 - Practical Assessment
4 - Practical Assessment
5 - Practical Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Practical Assessment
2 - Practical Assessment
3 - Practical Assessment
4 - Practical Assessment
5 - Practical Assessment