From Sketching to Coding: Teaching Visualization as a Thinking Process

workshop / tutorial
  1. 1. Eric Alexander

    Carleton College

  2. 2. Adam Bradley

    Ontario Tech University

  3. 3. Catherine DeRose

    Yale University

  4. 4. Mennatallah El-Assady

    Ontario Tech University, Universität Konstanz

  5. 5. Uta Hinrichs

    University of St. Andrews

  6. 6. Stefan Jänicke

    University of Southern Denmark

Work text
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Discussions of data visualization or visual analytics often focus on the underlying software and tools. When it comes to teaching others to create and interpret visualizations, however, we need to stress the theory and decision-making processes that feed into the resulting visual representations. This workshop provides strategies for teaching visualization literacy, from sketching by hand to creating visualizations using computational tools. Led by instructors from the humanities, visual analytics, design, and computer science, sessions will cover different methodologies and challenges of teaching visualization to audiences with varied technical and disciplinary expertise and goals. The workshop walks participants through hands-on exercises, reflecting on how tools (both analog and digital) can enhance but also constrain our thinking. We will present visualization as a thinking process, a way to engage critically with data rather than only as an end product. In an increasingly visual and data-driven society, we must teach visualization as a discourse in order for it to be applied and interpreted responsibly. We will highlight critique as a pedagogical technique, as well as a method for spotting and mitigating miscommunication and misinterpretation. Encompassing interactive introductions to visualization theory, visualization creation, and design activities, this workshop will provide opportunities to discuss topics related to engaging with visualization within and beyond academic settings. Participants will leave the workshop with resources, ideas, and sample exercises they might use in their own practice and teaching.

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Conference Info

In review

ADHO - 2020
"carrefours / intersections"

Hosted at Carleton University, Université d'Ottawa (University of Ottawa)

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

July 20, 2020 - July 25, 2020

475 works by 1078 authors indexed

Conference cancelled due to coronavirus. Online conference held at Data for this conference were initially prepared and cleaned by May Ning.

Conference website:


Series: ADHO (15)

Organizers: ADHO