From UBC Wiki
 Guidelines Create Your Book Chapter Book Sections and Themes Help and Resources 
GEOG350 Urban Worlds
Open Textbook Project
2017-06-19 Vancouver (36246190350).jpg
Course Info
Instructor: Dr. Siobhán Wittig McPhee
Book Index
Help and Resources

Welcome to the project space for the GEOG 350 Urban Worlds Open Textbook

This project offers a unique opportunity to shape our understanding of Vancouver's dynamic urban landscape.  You will contribute directly to the creation of an open-access urban geography textbook focused exclusively on our city.  Select a compelling topic related to Vancouver from the topics covered in the course, and connected to our weekly guest speakers. Through in-depth research, data analysis, and the exploration of a local case study, you will craft a scholarly textbook entry. Your work will provide future students, researchers, and interested citizens with insights into the complex and evolving nature of Vancouver.

Points to consider

  • Local Data Emphasis: I encourage the use of open-source data from City of Vancouver websites, Metro Vancouver data portals, or Statistics Canada for analysis and visualizations.
  • Vancouver-Centric Case Studies: Each entry must ground its discussion in a specific Vancouver case study, neighborhood, or urban development project.
  • Contemporary Issues: Please highlight current debates, planning controversies, or emergent trends affecting Vancouver's urban landscape.
  • Critical Thinking: I expect advanced analysis that goes beyond mere description, challenging you to consider the political, economic, and social forces shaping the city.
  • Comparative Perspective: Situate Vancouver's experiences within broader trends affecting other Canadian cities or cities globally.  
  • Advanced Writing: I expect a level of writing and style, with precise terminology and compelling argumentation, suitable for a third-year audience.

Details of the assignments

Category Group Solo
Aim Contributing to open access textbook as outlined above Contributing to open access textbook as outlined above
Tasks Complete the peer evaluation table of group members (template on Canvas) and then answer the questions under the table. Answers to questions must be 500-words. A short (500-word) essay reflecting on the challenges and benefits of conducting independent research compared to potential collaborative experiences. Questions to consider:

·       How did your research process differ without group input?

·       Did you discover any personal strengths or weaknesses through solo work?

·       If you could re-do the project in a group, what might you contribute or gain differently?

Depth of Analysis/Research Requires in-depth exploration with stronger emphasis on critical analysis Emphasis on collaboration, with broader scope of research and analysis
Word Count 3500 words 3500 words

Rubric for the assignments

Criteria Exemplary Proficient Developing Needs Improvement
Understanding of Topic (15%) Demonstrates a deep, nuanced understanding of the chosen topic, going beyond basic facts and incorporating recent scholarly debates. Shows solid grasp of the topic, connecting to course concepts and Vancouver-specific context. Displays some understanding of the topic, but focuses on surface-level description or lacks specificity. Demonstrates limited understanding of the topic, with significant gaps in knowledge or misinterpretation of concepts.
Research & Data (25%) Incorporates diverse and rigorous sources (academic, government reports, data sets), demonstrating a comprehensive research process. Effectively integrates local data with insightful analysis. Uses credible sources and relevant data, showing effort to go beyond basic web searches. Includes some local data but analysis could be deeper. Relies on limited or less credible sources. Includes Vancouver data but usage is superficial or lacks clear connection to the thesis. Uses minimal research or data that lacks relevance or credibility.
Case Study Application (20%) Skillfully weaves in a detailed and illuminating Vancouver-based case study, fully illustrating the complexity of the topic. Includes a relevant Vancouver case study that supports the main arguments made. Includes a Vancouver case study but connection to broader topic is unclear or analysis remains simplistic. Mentions a Vancouver case study in passing but does not develop it meaningfully.
Critical Analysis (25%) Provides insightful analysis that applies relevant urban theories, evaluates policies/projects, and critiques power dynamics. Demonstrates thoughtful analysis with some application of theory and consideration of underlying structures. Offers analysis that is primarily descriptive or lacks sufficient connection to urban theories. Provides minimal analysis or relies on unsubstantiated opinions.
Comparative Perspective (5%) Situates Vancouver's experience within national or global trends, showing an expansive understanding of urban processes. Attempts to draw comparisons to other cities, though the analysis could be more nuanced. Shows minimal or no attempt to offer a comparative analysis. -
Writing & Organization (10%) Eloquently written with clear structure, engaging prose, and error-free mechanics. Demonstrates a sophisticated writing style. Well-written with logical organization and few grammatical errors. Writing is comprehensible but lacks clarity or has noticeable errors. Structure is somewhat unclear. Writing is difficult to follow, with numerous errors or disjointed structure.