Assignment Types

There are four types of assignments in these classes:
  1. Reading Assignments (nothing handed in; generally due before applicable lecture; You can see reading assignments from previous years here)
  2. Lab Assignments (materials provided on this course website; submitted via Canvas ALWAYS)
  3. Project (see project pages for detailed instructions; not posted here; WATS 4931/6921 only)
  4. Pop-Quizzes (WATS 4930/6920 & 6915 Only: Some will be in class, some will be via CANVAS, announcements never posted here, only made in class)

Due Dates

To avoid confusion and/or conflicting information about due dates for assignments, we try not to post due dates in multiple places on the website. The official due dates you should work by can be found respectively in the individual  Reading Assignments posts, on CANVAS for the lab assignments, and Project pages. The course calendar does not contain any due dates (only a lecture and lab schedule). In other words, rely on CANVAS for due dates!


See assessment and grading pages for information on how these assignments are graded. See course policies for information on a) late work, b) working together, c) academic dishonesty, and d) lack of paper handouts.


There are no tests and no final in any of these classes. The reasons for this are threefold:
  1. Of the five primary learning outcomes in these classes, tests would only contribute to the first learning outcome (understanding GIS theory). We instead emphasize learning by doing (i.e. labs and projects) and the lectures and reading are designed to immerse you in GIS theory and nomenclature. This does require some intellectual maturity on your part (i.e. you need to read and engage with lectures).
  2. The workload for lab assignments is already heavy. Tests would be a distraction from this.
  3. It is my biased opinion that good test taking is a skill with little real-world value outside University degrees and a few certificates or certifications. For some subjects, test-taking remains the most pragmatic way to assess your learning. However, for applied topics and/or tools like GIS, I choose to place the emphasis on tangible skills. Moreover, there are many students who are very good test takers but poor learners (i.e. they can get an A on the exam, but have no idea how to apply or do what they were tested on).