Summer 2024 - GEOG 100 OL01

Our World: Introducing Human Geography (3)

Class Number: 1570

Delivery Method: Online


  • Course Times + Location:




A geographical introduction to how humans shape our world, with attention also given to how it shapes us. Themes may include: culture, economic activities, environmental change, globalization, politics, population, resources, and urbanization. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


Delivery Mode: Online, Asynchronous.  This course is fully remote with no in-person requirement.

Course Description

This breadth-social science course introduces students to the field of human geography.  The Greek roots of the term geo (earth) and graphy (writing) signal the field’s focus on describing and inscribing the relationship between humans and the world around us.  Human geographers use concepts like space, place, scale, mobility, and relationality to pursue questions like: How do places acquire meaning for different people?  How does location impact how we understand the world, and the possibilities presented to us?  How are places related, and how can this knowledge help us address pressing social, political, ecological, and economic challenges?

In this course, students can expect to develop a framework for understanding what it means to ‘think geographically’.  Special attention will be paid in this course offering to exploring the ways that the biophysical, built, and social world shape who we are; and, finally, how we shape and re-shape the world around us (whether intentionally or unintentionally).  As you progress through the course, it is hoped that you will see the value of thinking geographically as a means of being engaged and remaining curious about how our environments shape us, and how we, in turn, shape the world around us.

Note: Intersession courses start May 6, 2024 and end June 17, 2024


By the end of the intersession semester, students should be able to:

  • Understand and use key human geography concepts (e.g. space, place, scale, mobility, spatial imaginaries)
  • Interpret relations between power and knowledge, appreciating how diverse experiences influence the way people perceive places
  • Using spatial reasoning in order to identify how places are connected across space and time
  • Understand how social, political, and economic structures take place in our surroundings
  • Learn to critically assess the validity of geographic data and images as they are presented in the public square and media
  • Have sufficiently developed early undergraduate-level research, communication, and citation skills


  • Knowledge Check-Ins (2x Weekly Content and Concept Quizzes) 20%
  • Knowledge Application Assignments (2x Week Short Written Assignments) 30%
  • StoryMap Assignment 23%
  • StoryMap Peer Feedback Assignment 10%
  • Learning Reflections 6%
  • PechaKucha Assignment 10%
  • SETC Survey 1%


  • All instructional content will be made available to students asynchronously in the form of short recorded lectures, online modules, reading, and course engagement activities. Students have the option of attending weekly, synchronous Q&A sessions, but attendance at these sessions is not mandatory.  Accessibility will be prioritized.  These optional sessions will be spaces to connect, interact, and share challenges and successes.
  • Asynchronous class preparation quizzes. Most weeks, students will complete a class preparation quiz in advance of the lecture being released.  These quizzes ensure that students have completed the weekly readings and assigned material, have a basic comprehension of core concepts leading into the lecture, and are feeling confident as the module begins.
  • Asynchronous class engagement activities. Most weeks, students will complete two class engagement assignment that will be available as part of the learning module.  These mini-assignments invite you to think more deeply about the week’s required material through observation, reflection, application, and experience. 
  • Self-Reflection and Self-Assessment will be prioritized. Through storytelling, examples from your work and and more creative formats, you will be asked throughout the course to reflect on your learning.  Where it happens and how, your struggles, your triumphs, goal setting, and how it is showing up and/or impacting your everyday life.
  • Peer Learning and Support. You are expected to engage with your classmates throughout the course in community-building.  This includes providing feedback to one another, sharing stories about your learning, and participating in community-building activities.
  • StoryMaps Project: In thematic groups, over the course of the semester students will create an ArcGIS StoryMap on a topic of their choosing. Students will submit three small assignments that will help them plan, design, and create their StoryMaps. A final submission will take place in a group setting as a StoryMap Showcase, where students will view each other’s StoryMaps and engage one another through a Q&A round.


This course will use a blend of labour-based grading and qualitative assessment.  There is flexibility for late or missing assignments built in.  Class prep assignments, engagement activities, reflections, and StoryMap prep assignments will use labour-based grading.  The Class Preparation Quizzes and final StoryMap assignment will implement qualitative or standards-based grading.  The full details about this system, including a grading contract, will be outlined in the course syllabus and introductory Canvas module.  Under this assessment model, in order to earn a higher grade, you will need to complete more work.  If accessibility is a concern under this model (e.g. time management, other responsibilities) please reach out to the instructor in the first few days of the term to create a learning plan for your success.

This approach to assessment is informed by an ethic of care, and is meant to account for and capture your learning experience, as well as the complexities of your failures, struggles, and successes.  This approach centres mutual respect, transformative values, building inclusive learning communities, and responsiveness.  For more information on the rationale behind this approach to assessment, please visit:



There is one required textbook for this course:

Paul Knox, Sallie Marston, Michael Imort. 2019. Human Geography: Places and Regions in Global Context, updated 5th Canadian edition. Pearson Canada.  

This is a digital textbook with online support materials, available through the SFU Bookstore.  The book can be purchased or leased via Vitalsource.

All other required material will be on reserve via the library, or otherwise publicly accessible online.  In accordance with Canadian copyright law and best practices regarding fair dealing in educational settings, please use copies of copyrighted material distributed in class only for the purposes of this class and do not reproduce them in any way.


This course has one recommended text:

Castree, N., Kitchin, R. and Rogers, A., 2013. A dictionary of human geography. Oxford University Press. [available online via SFU Library]


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.