Topic outline

  • Course overview

    The goal of this course is for the students learn how methods required for GIS application development work. After the course, the student has an understanding how software development projects work, how spatial data is developed, how web services are set up, and how databases can be maintained, and used in GIS analysis.

    In addition, the students familiarize themselves and practice with the technological tools required in GIS software development and management of GIS data sets, and make a short GIS development project. In the project, the students will practice how to keep track of the amount of work done on a software project, and compare this to the amount of resources assigned.

    The project will be done in groups. The groups will have 3-5 people, with group of size 4 being the optimal. A group of this size can continue to function, even if one person needs to drop out of the course. A group of four is also sufficiently large that the participants can divide work between them, and people can specialize in different tasks. However, in a group of four, there aren’t too many people, and therefore everyone will find work they need to do in the project.

    The amount of time a student should dedicate for work outside the learning sessions is approximately 100 hours. This comes to approximately 20 hours of work per week between 23.4 (Tuesday after Easter) and 24.5 (Friday, project final presentation).This number includes both the work done for developing the group project, as well work needed for individual studying.

    After the course, the students are familiar with the practical work and tools used in software projects, and have practiced working in a software project group.

    Learning and exercise sessions and use of time on the course

    There will be no traditional lectures on the course. Instead, on every Thursday, there will be a four-hour learning session, where we will discuss the topics related to the course. The sessions can include also brief lectures, but the work methods will also include different kinds of group work.

    Learning sessions (Lectures): 6*4=24 hours

    On Fridays (see exceptions in the schedule), there will be an exercise session. In this session, each group will have one hour to discuss the current state of their project with the course staff. The exercise sessions can either be support sessions or deadline sessions. In the support sessions, the purpose of the session is for the group to be able to bring problems they have to the course staff. In the deadline sessions, the group can demonstrate the current state of their project, and discuss with the course staff what will be the next steps.

    Exercise sessions: 5*2=10 hours

    Project work and individual learning: 100 hours.

    Course grading

    The course grade is based on the grade of the project, adjusted by the grade of the learning portfolio.

    The project is graded from 0 (failed) to 5, a grade of 0 from the project will mean the whole course is failed.

    The learning portfolio is graded either failed, or from -1 to +2.

    A failed learning portfolio will mean the whole course is failed; otherwise the learning portfolio grade is used to adjust the project grade to get the full course grade (maximum of 5). To give an example, a project grade of 2 and a portfolio grade of -1 will give the student the course grade 2-1=1, and a project grade of 3 and portfolio grade of 0 will give the student course grade 3.

    A portfolio grade of -1 cannot fail the course, thus if the project grade is 1 and the portfolio grade is -1, the course grade will be 1.

    Project grading

    Both the project result (the software and/or service delivered) and the project documentation including the final report will be graded from 0 (failed) to 3.

    Grade 3 is given for very good or excellent work.

    Grade 2 is given to a work of good quality.

    Grade 1 is given for a functional work of low quality.

    Grade 0 is given for not returning the work, work with significant omissions, or really low quality. A grade 0 will fail the project.

    The final project grade will be the sum of these two grades minus one. Thus, if a group gets 2 from their project and 2 from their documentation, their final grade will be 2+2-1=3.

    Portfolio grading

    Failed: no portfolio has been returned, or the returned portfolio is significantly incomplete.

    Grade -1: The portfolio is missing parts, or is of low quality. The portfolio does not demonstrate how the student has participated on the course, how they now understand the course topics, and how they have learned on the course.

    Grade 0: The default grade; the portfolio contains all the required elements, but does not show any significant merits, or does not demonstrate that the student has been able to learn and absorb the course contents.

    Grade +1: A good portfolio that contains all the required elements, and shows that the student has focused on the course and the portfolio, and has been able to learn and analyze their learning.

    Grade +2: An excellent portfolio that delivers all the required elements in a praiseworthy manner, as well as goes beyond the requirements in analyzing what the student now understands and what they have learned on the course.