GEOG 488
Acquiring and Integrating Geospatial Data



Registered students earn academic credit at Penn State by completing the following assignments. Opportunities to demonstrate learning include the following, and grades will be based on percentages assigned to each of several components of the course as follows:

Your course grade will be based on a course paper (20 points), your participation in online discussions (10 points), online tests and quizzes (10 points) five class modules (total of 40 points), and a final module (20 points). A total of 100 points are possible. See below for more information about each of these components of the course.

NOTE: Weekly deliverables, that are not in a drop-box, are normally placed in an E-Portfolio. If you want other people to see examples of your work you can use an E-Portfolio. Click here for instructions on "Creating your Web Page (Portfolio)."

However, if your data is propriety or has other security concerns you can send me the required material in an email. Please inform me when you post your material to your portfolio by sending me the updated URL link. This saves me from checking for empty folders.

Course Paper

- 20% of your grade (20/100 points)

You will be expected to write a course paper in this course. The paper is due by week 8. See the Course Paper Assignment page for more information about this assignment.

Online Discussion

- 10% of your grade (10/100 points)

Each week you will be expected to take part in class discussions, most often through threaded discussions on the course discussion forums. I will use the following scoring rubric to determine your Online Discussion grade.

Online Discussion Rubric
 Exemplary (2 points)Acceptable (1)Unsatisfactory (0)
ParticipationPosted insightful comments and questions that prompted on-topic discussion. Helped clarify or synthesize other group members' ideas. If disagreeing with another group members' ideas, the participant stated disagreement or objections clearly, yet politely.Consistently had to be prompted or coaxed to participate. Usually, but not always, expressed herself or himself clearly.
Posted a late response.
Extremely reluctant to participate, even when prompted. Rarely expressed himself or herself clearly.
Failed to participate.

Online Quizzes

- 10% of your grade (10/100 points)

Some weeks you will be expected to complete online quizzes.

Class Modules

- 40% of your grade (40/100 points)

Most lessons contain a graded module for you to complete. Most of these weekly module assignments will be draft portions of your final project. There will be a few weeks in which there is a mini module to complete and then post maps or write-ups about the module. Each module involves some aspect of GIS. Modules are designed to be moderately challenging. The key to success is to stay on schedule, follow directions, and ask questions and participate in discussions via the discussion forums. All modules are due within one week of the scheduled beginning of each new module. All of the modules are individual assignments. Weekly deliverables are also described in each lesson.

Class modules are worth the following number of points:

Lesson 2 = 5 points
Lesson 3 = 5 points
Lesson 4 = 10 points
Lesson 5/6 = 10 points
Lesson 7/8 = 10 points

I will use the following scoring rubric when grading class modules. NOTE: Multiply by 0.25 for 5 point assignments (modules 2 and 3) and by 0.5 for 10 point assignments (modules 4, 5/6, and 7/8).

Class Module Rubric
 Exemplary (5* points)Accomplished (4*)Developing (3*)Beginning (2*)Poor (1*)
ContentAll criteria of the module are met. It is well balanced, detailed, organized, reflective, and supported by sources.The author provides a detailed, reflective discussion of his or her experience with the module.The module lacks balance and/or detail. A discussion of the author's personal experience with the module is provided, but it is relatively brief and not particularly reflective.The module lacks detail. A discussion of the author's personal experience is very brief and not supported by personal reflections.The module criteria are not addressed. The author does not express his or her personal perspective, or otherwise fails to complete the module.
ClarityThe module is very well-organized. The writing is readable, clear and easy to follow.Some portions of the module are somewhat unclear and lacking in organization and development.Some of the module is unclear and/or lacking in organization and/or development.Much of the module is unclear and/or lacking in organization and/or development.The module is difficult to read, disorganized, and underdeveloped.
MechanicsMechanics (spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence/paragraph construction) are virtually flawless.There are a few minor errors in format and/or mechanics.There are major and/or frequent errors in format and/or mechanics.There are major and frequent errors in format and mechanics.There are numerous and significant mechanical errors.
PresentationDesign is appropriate for a professional portfolio. It is well-organized, includes polished graphics and a color scheme that aids readability, and is easy to navigate. The presenter uses visuals appropriately to underscore key points.The presentation of the portfolio is professional, including appropriate graphics and colors.The presentation of the portfolio is adequately professional including some appropriate graphics and colors.The presentation is generally well organized.The presentation is poorly organized and difficult to navigate. The appearance of the portfolio is unprofessional including inappropriate graphics and colors.

Final Project (Lesson 9/10)

- 20% of your grade (20/100 points)

A final project will be completed during the last two weeks of the course. The project spans two weeks and is a culmination of the work done in the weeks leading up to it. The final project is an individual assignment, but collaboration is encouraged.

The project rubric shown above will be used for scoring the Final Project.