Telling Stories with Data


Units: 6


Data visualization is the art of understanding how humans understand our visual environment and of applying that knowledge to the visual representation of information. The ability to effectively tell a story through data can be the difference for an initiative being successful, research being remembered, or a story that leads to action. Part art, part science, visualizing data is a process that is both well established in some disciplines while also rapidly changing and evolving in others. Students will learn to critique and create data visualizations using different methods. Students will explore various aspects to visualization as we deconstruct and reconstruct visualizations, learning how others use different approaches to communicate effectively. We'll dig into data in different ways to help our readers understand complex issues, and finally experiment with new ways to represent data about our work, our community, and ourselves. Students will get hands-on training and experimentation with a number of tools, and have some flexibility to concentrate on mediums that best match their desired outcomes and skills for a final project (print, digital, interactive or immersive). 

Learning Outcomes

  1. Create a publicly accessible portfolio of work. 
  2. Build online data visualizations following good design practices (color, text, layout, choice of visualization, etc). 
  3. Critique data visualizations by applying critique methodologies.  Be able to justify your own design decisions. 
  4. Develop and present a narrative suitable for a subject audience for a selected topic that is clear, compelling and persuasive.
  5. Conduct user research to ensure data visualizations and the supporting narrative are being communicated effectively.
  6. Apply methods for explaining and presenting data, constructing and telling a story using that data. 

Prerequisites Description