data visualisation blog

Please refer to the course handbook for all the details about the data visualisation blog assignment.

Submit your data visualisation blog assignment here in Moodle – deadline Tuesday the 6th of April 2021

This task requires you to produce a series of data visualisations, which you will hand draw and upload to your blog during each week of the thematic block sections (weeks 3-11). You will therefore produce nine data visualisations in total, each accompanied by some explanatory text. During the first two weeks of the course you will be supported to setup your blog, gain an underlying understanding of the ‘nature’ of data, and experiment with data visualisation, all of which will prepare you for this assessed task. It is important to stress that you are not required to be a ‘data viz’ expert from the outset of this course. Rather, the point of this task is to encourage you to experiment, be creative in your approach, and importantly, to develop your ideas over the duration of the nine weeks of the activity. Indeed, note that the assessment criteria specify development, so we’ll be looking at how your ideas progress, rather than whether any individual visualisation is ‘correct’ – see more on this below. At the end of each of the thematic blocks, you will write a short blog post summarising how your data visualisation work has helped you to think about the course themes of ‘learning’ (end of block 1), ‘teaching’ (end of block 2), and ‘governing’ (end of block 3) data. Towards the end of the course, you will synthesise these end-of-block posts into a final 1000-word commentary on the task, and submit this with your nine data visualisations as part of your blog. Practically, you will make your submission simply by pasting the URL of your personal course blog into the Moodle submission box, here, on or before the assignment deadline (end of week 12).

Given that you will need to collect and visualise a set of data each week (during weeks 3-11), we recommend the following weekly schedule:

  • Monday (or the weekend before if you’d prefer): decide on the kind of activity you will track for the rest of the week. Think about something directly or indirectly connected to the ways you participate in the course, and use the Dear Data resources as some initial inspiration. You don’t have to develop the visualisation part right away; rather, focus on recording your chosen activity in a simply way, perhaps using a notepad or something near to hand. Start your data recording.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: continue to record your data. You might find that the process of record some data gives you new ideas, and perhaps things to add – this is absolutely fine, remember that this task is about how you develop ideas, rather than producing a perfect final product!
  • Friday: Complete your data collection, and begin to think about producing a final visualisation. Use the Dear Data resources for inspiration, and think about how you might convey your activity in an engaging and creative way. The final step is to upload a picture of your visualisation to your blog, and add some explanatory notes – tell everyone what you have visualised, and how the outcome might be useful for thinking about your learning this week. Do also take a look and comment on what your peers have produced. Please note that if you choose to produce your visualisation at the weekend, that is absolutely fine, just note that your tutor will only be able to add comments the following week.

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