In recent years, data visualization has taken on much more complex roles in the humanities. From mapping projects to the use of R, the use of data visualization techniques and tools continues to grow in diverse uses. Unlike the previous guides in the Project in the Box series, the following guide on data visualization in the humanities and arts will talk more about the uses of data visualization and how it can be approached for use in the classroom. This guide will explore some of the various aspects of data visualization in the humanities and arts, including unconventional uses of data visualization tools which could help you and your students explore concepts and more.
It should be noted that the various lists below are all curated lists. They will be updated accordingly over time but obviously there is much more out there that you can find useful as supplemental materials for your courses.
You will find suggestions for resources, tutorials, assessments, and learning goals in the rest of the guide.
Jon Breitenbucher, Director: email@example.com
Emily Armour, Educational Technologist: firstname.lastname@example.org
Megan Smeznik, Educational Technologist: email@example.com
Maira Senoo, Educational Technology Associate: firstname.lastname@example.org
Considerations for a Data Visualization Project
For a data visualization project, there are a number of aspects that should be considered before approaching one in the classroom. Below, Educational Technology outlined important components that can be used when structuring the project with a class. In particular for a data visualization project, it will be important to determine how the project will be structured in terms of purpose and scope. If you would like more information about what types of pedagogical components need to be included in the project process, please reach out to Educational Technology to set up a meeting to discuss project planning and more.
Purpose and Scope of Assignment/Project
The purpose of the assignment/project is to help expose students to the uses of data visualization. The project/assignment should work to fulfill the following goals:
- Acts as a substitute for a research paper or other class exercise. It is important to consider that this project will take about the same amount of work as one of those other written assignments.
- Allows students to approach information spatially and also learn about digital tools in the process.
- Finished projects help students connect with a wider audience which emphasize research that reaches public audiences.
Student Learning Goals
Project Goals (Dependent upon the assignment or project)
- Demonstrate skills in research and collaboration
- Gain basic knowledge about the purposes of data visualization in context for the arts and humanities
- Expose students to the use data visualization in the arts and humanities
- Help students to use data visualization tools to support argumentation
- Develop the abilities to show and discuss change such as over historic time
- Learn how to use various data tools such as spreadsheets, visualizations, and more in order to understand their benefits, challenges, and opportunities in research and visualizing content
- Attend and participate in any workshops to prepare to use the tools to inform their research
- Grow skills in data management and analysis
- Clearly outline the project and its goals by working with Educational Technology staff
- Attend and participate in workshops with students to build knowledge about what students can expect to experience during the assignment or project
- Help students to visualize research and data in tangible/meaningful ways
- Specify which types of technologies and tools that students should expect to use
- Define and present to students a clear outline of the project goals and assessment
- Consider the accessibility of the assignment and alternative options
Educational Technology, Morgan Hall 4th Floor, email@example.com
Digital Studio and Production Planning Studio, Andrews Library
Digital Media Bar, Andrews Library
Pedagogical and Course Implementation
*Includes syllabus examples that are are from humanities, arts, social sciences, and computer science.*
Data Visualization Tools for the Arts and the Humanities
Choosing Digital Methods Handout
Voices from the Academy
Below you will find various books, articles, and pieces by various scholars who are active in the field. They are a good introduction for anyone looking to explore data visualization.
The following tutorials are highly recommended in order to help prepare you for beginning a data visualization project. The tutorials range from video step by step to assorted guides that could provide useful information for the project.
- The Programming Historian is for more specific type of projects.
This section will be periodically updated with new types of assessments and examples. Before implementing an assessment for a project, consider reaching out to the Educational Technology staff who can help to provide provide constructive feedback on the assessment for the assignment