Storytelling with Data: An Introduction to Data Visualization
Mar 04 – Mar 31, 2019
Delivery Mode : Asynchronous Workshop Levels : Beginner,Intermediate Eligible for Online Teaching Certificate elective : No
Data visualization is about presenting data visually so we can explore and identify patterns in the data, analyze and make sense of those patterns, and communicate our findings. In this course, you will explore those key aspects of data visualization, and then focus on the theories, concepts, and skills related to communicating data in effective, engaging, and accessible ways.
This will be a hands-on, project-based course in which you will apply key data visualization strategies to various data sets to tell specific data stories using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Practice data sets will be provided, or you can utilize your own data sets.
Week 1: Introduction and Tool Setup
Week 2: Cognitive Load and Pre-Attentive Attributes
Week 3: Selecting the Appropriate Visualization Type
Week 4: Data Stories and Context
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to create basic data visualizations that are effective, accessible, and engaging. In support of that primary objective, you will:
Describe the benefits of data visualization for your professional situation
Identify opportunities for using data visualization
Use appropriate accessibility strategies for data tables
Basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets is required to successfully complete this course. Resources will be included to help you with the basics should you need them, but time spent learning the tools is not included in the estimated time for completing this course.
What are the key takeaways from this course?
The ability to explain how data visualization is connected to data analytics
The ability to identify key data visualization theories
Creating effective and engaging data visualizations
Applying appropriate accessibility strategies to data visualizations
Who should take this course?
Instructional designers, faculty, and higher education administrators who need to present data in effective, engaging, and accessible ways will benefit from taking this course
“Shifts in students’ learning style will prompt a shift to active construction of knowledge through mediated immersion.”-Chris Dede
The theory of constructivist-based learning, according to Dr. Seymour Papert, “is grounded in the idea that people learn by actively constructing new knowledge, rather than having information ‘poured’ into their heads.”
Moreover, constructionism asserts that people learn with particular effectiveness when they are engaged in constructing personally meaningful artifacts (such as computer programs, animations, 3D modeling, creating spatial environments in virtual reality or building robots).”
Technologies like virtual reality, especially for Gen Z students’, provides avenues that allow them to engage in a social, collaborative, and active learning environment.
Virtual reality, especially when combined with powerful storytelling, allows the student to participate in the story, develop empathy to experiences outside their current realm of understanding and allows them to be fully immersed in their own exploration and learning.
Teachers can bring VR stories into the classroom in many different ways for meaningful learning experiences. Imagine a scavenger hunt where students narrate a story based on what they find. Or consider using objects they see to identify vocabulary words or recognize letters. Students should have purpose in their viewing and it should directly connect to standards.
Similar to the new movie, Ready Player One, they provide an intense experience where the viewer feels like they are in the center of the story.
Using a mobile device or tablet, the student can start the story and look around the scene based on their interest, rather than the cameras focus. New apps such as Baobab VR have continued to appear with more interactions and engagement.
A creative way to have your students create their own virtual stories is using the app Roundme. Upload your 360 image and add directional sound, links and content. Upload portals to walk the viewer into multiple scenes and then easily share the stories by link to the story.
Storyfab, turns our students into the directors of the show
A new AR book, SpyQuest, has moved the immersive experience a big step forward as it helps define the story by bringing the images to life. Through the camera lens on a device, the stories make students the agents in an adventure into the world of espionage. The augmented reality experiences on the images use the accompanying app to scan the scene and provide further insight into the story.
Digital storytelling uses video, audio, social media, blogging and other tools to convey ideas and information effectively. The emphasis is on empowering students to create authentic products that they can share with others beyond the classroom walls, and to allow for audience interaction and feedback.
why should we inspire students to be digital storytellers?
Requires critical thinking: Creating an interdisciplinary product from scratch requires high level thinking skills like evaluating evidence, editing and curation, and production timelines. Digital stories often use multiple skills like writing, public speaking, photography, design and collaboration in a single project which makes them ideal for practicing skills learned other units or classes.
Authentic projects have impact: Creating real-world, impactful products that students share with an audience beyond the classroom is one of the best ways to enhance motivation and increase quality.
Places focus on writing: A picture is worth a thousand words, and video is 30 photos a second. It has its own grammar and style, but concepts of content, structure, tone and audience impact are just as important in multimedia as they are for an essay. Scripts, voiceovers and interview questions emphasize traditional writing skills and are the backbone of all multimedia projects.
Develops digital citizens: What to post online, when and how are all important questions for our students to learn to answer. Require them to comment on others’ work and develop etiquette for online posts and feedback. Rather than being afraid of the internet, embrace it to teach digital citizenship.
Students can add to digital portfolios: All student work can be compiled into a digital portfolio that they can use to promote themselves for jobs/internships
How to Educate Digital Storytellers
1. Focus on content, not the tools
2. Take it to the next “SAMR level.” The SAMR model is a way to gauge how deeply and effectively you use technology (Salvador Dali)
A study that looked at reader engagement across articles that contained charts and infographics vs. articles that were text-only found that those with graphical storytelling, or what I like to call data storytelling, had up to 34 percent more comments and shares and a 300 percent improvement on the depth of scroll down the page.
Using storytelling techniques to present data not only makes it more visually appealing but also enables easy spotting of key trends, seamless results-tracking, and quick goal-monitoring.
Here are things that can help you build a bridge from your current methods to effective data storytelling–
Choose a topic by identifying your target audience, the goal of your visual, what you would like to achieve.
Organize your data by thinking about what you want to convey and then get rid of anything that doesn’t help you tell that story.
Spend time making your visualization look sharp by keeping it simple, using color and interactivity.
A few bonus tips to make your data visualizations really pop–
Don’t use more than two graphs at a time so as not to confuse participants.
Stick with one color per graph; making things multicolored will cause data to look jumbled.
Give context to your concept. Introduce your idea slowly and tell the story of what you want your data to reveal instead of assuming everyone in the room is on the same page.
Try using interactive data storytelling techniques to support your data.
more on digital storytelling in this IMS blog
Project Hikari: Tales of the Wedding Rings lets you walk into a manga and become part of the story.
Japanese company Square Enix is looking to broaden the VR storytelling conversation by bringing 3 genres together into one incredible VR experience with Project Hikari: Tales of the Wedding Rings,
“We wanted to do something differently with this technology—we wanted to take VR into a different kind of direction,” Sou told VRScout in an interview. “We asked ourselves: how do we make content that is really unique, and something only our company can do?”
The team realized that manga could provide a creative new avenue of immersive story. Their approach was to create a style that blends animation and comic—giving you the ability to move in and out of panels. Sometimes you can see a range of still panels, others you’re engulfed in the animation of one scene.
I worried that the linear narrative of the manga might interfere with the immersion of VR, or that voiceover narration would keep me from discovering aspects of the story myself.
That worry was completely eliminated almost immediately the moment I put the headset on and the experience began. The Square Enix team was very creative with how they used narration along with the animation within the panels to bring the experience to life. I loved this VR take on the manga, and found Tales of the Wedding Rings to be an incredible experience that honored both mediums.
It’s a cross-section of a lot of different mediums because you have VR, manga (comics), and animation