Teaching Visualization for Large and Diverse Classes on Campus and Online

Teaching Visualization for Large and Diverse Classes on Campus and Online

Beyer J, Strobelt H, Oppermann M, Deslauriers L, and Pfister H.

(Pedagogy Data Visualization, IEEE VIS Workshop, 2016.)

We present how principles and methods from active learning can be integrated and applied to a large undergraduate visualization course for students with a wide range of different educational backgrounds. The course covers the main principles of visualization (theory), showcases examples of visualizations and the main visualization types (visualization literacy), and covers visual design and critical discussions of visualization designs (design). In a final project, students have to design and develop their own web-based interactive visualizations using Javascript and D3 (programming). We describe how we have adjusted our previous course to include state-of-the art principles of active learning, with the goal to (a) increase student engagement, and (b) increase knowledge transfer. Quantitative and qualitative student feedback, as well as Q scores show successful engagement of students. The results of the midterm exam as well as the final projects indicate that we were successful at transferring knowledge about visualization theory, visualization literacy, design and programming.