Data Visualization Theory OpenCourseWare: USU's Free Undergraduate Lab-Based Course on Data Visualization

Published Feb 04, 2009

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A graph is often clearer than a paragraph, and an animation can make time series data clearer. Developed at Utah State University for majors in the Instructional Technology & Learning Sciences department and now offered as OpenCourseWare, ' Data Visualization Theory and Practice' may be part of a bachelor's degree in instructional or information technology. Anyone who structures interactive learning environments may also consider taking the course.

Data Visualization Theory and Practice: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Data Visualization Theory and Practice: Course Description

Developed from a lab taught by Professor Brett Shelton, the course starts with a discussion of the value of presenting data in visual form. After studying traditional ways to visualize data, the class goes into semiotics (study of symbol and signs), navigation, procedure, environment and different ways to visualize time-based data series.

Students get the most from this course if they have access to MS Excel, Adobe Illustrator, Matlab, SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) and some form of mapping software. Huff's How to Lie With Statistics is one of the texts; the subject is handled with humor as well as with expertise. This free course has an interesting 'Related Resources' section that includes links to similar OpenCourseWare, resources for science curricula, research on data visualization and free software.

Guiding questions and reading assignments for each class day, homework and project assignments and supplemental notes are included. To explore this stimulating field, visit the data visualization course page.

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