We learn when we teach

Justification of metrics.

There’s a famous saying that we learn in three steps: when we are taught, when we study on our own, and then, the final crucial step: when we teach others. Ever since starting this degree, I found myself sharing some of the knowledge gained with friends and family. This data could show the real circle of people that through me are reached indirectly by the university (Brown&Adler 2008). Exchanging knowledge is also essential to my relationships, because this is largely how I connect to other people due to the ASD.

I specified the metrics to the current courses, ASD (which I am researching for this course), and other (which can include extra reading I did on the general topic of digital education, or information from the previous semester).
I focused on the four conversations I regularly have, since dialogue is central to exchanging knowledge in our culture (Friesen 2019). Best friend (Jo) and both groups of friends I contact on Whatsapp exclusively. My husband is the only person I talk to extensively in person.

Initially I planned to track it daily, but decided against this. Context, such as time, can put data in perspective (McCandles 2010). However, too many variables can also obscure data (Healy 2019). In this case, it seemed unnecessary to split it by weekdays. It was far more interesting to see what knowledge I pass onto whom.

Interestingly, flipping the format (ring for people and dot for knowledge) would bring the focus to the information, rather than the person.

Choice of design.

I wanted to experiment with round shapes I saw in many of my classmates’ blogs and McCandles (McCandles 2012, below in green). I also wanted to have evenly shaped, individual elements, inspired by the below Dear Data visualisation. I consistently chose neon colours for the subjects, but I was not as preoccupied with the tones this time.

I really enjoyed the simplicity of this presentation.

Sources.

Brown, J. S. Adler, R. P. (2008) Minds on Fire. Educause Review

Friesen, N. 2019. “The technological imaginary in education, or: Myth and enlightenment in ‘Personalised Learning.” In M. Stocchetti (Ed.), The digital age and its discontents. University of Helsinki Press.

Healy, K. (2019) Data Visualisation. A practical introduction. Princeton Press

Lupi, G. Posavec, S. (2016) Dear Data. Princeton Architectural Press

McCandless, D. (2010) The beauty of data visualisation.

McCandless, D. (2012) Information is Beautiful. HarperCollins Publishers

3 Replies to “We learn when we teach”

  1. ‘This data could show the real circle of people that through me are reached indirectly by the university (Brown&Adler 2008).’

    Really interesting direction for this visualisation – this indirect contact is something often disregarded when we think about the impact of education. This ‘hidden reach’ is something that could be productively surfaced through data, and you’ve got a super basis for this here.

    ‘In this case, it seemed unnecessary to split it by weekdays. It was far more interesting to see what knowledge I pass onto whom.’

    Excellent reflection on your decisions here, and linked well to the literature. Breaking away from ‘time’ as a foundational element of our tracking is useful exercise!

    ‘Interestingly, flipping the format (ring for people and dot for knowledge) would bring the focus to the information, rather than the person.’

    Indeed, such a simple difference in the visualisation would seem to have huge impact on the resulting meaning – excellent observation here.

  2. I really like the use of colour and the circles, it really does remind me of McCandless, really interesting to see how much of your relating is remote/virtual, as for all of us. In a way it is reassuring, we are all in the same boat. It would be really interesting to know what the differences are in terms of relating when face to face or virtual but, of course, the relationship itself will have such a distorting affect, you will not be comparing like with like.

    1. Funny you say that Matt, because the pandemia changed almost nothing in my social interactions. The only thing I did more of is occasional talk to waiters to order food, and meeting for RPG once a month. The mom group lumped here in one are actually two mom groups (one Mexican in Spanish, one American in English). I would not be able to participate in them if not for the pandemia, because it would involve meeting in person on occasions and that is my personal hell. I have very little capacity for relating to people ‘face to face’, so the distortion here is in the opposite direction than you assumed. All thanks to ASD.

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