This class introduces students to designing narrative-driven data visualizations to engage non-expert audiences. Students work with a not-for-profit local Reno client to address their data visualization needs, and learn about ethics and persuasion in data visualizations through this process.
Summary description from UNR Course CatalogPursuit of a special interest in journalism with emphasis on, or significant use of, media technology.
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
- create line charts, bar charts, pie charts, and scatter plots that represent data legibly and ethically
- explain the difference between data visualization for analysis and data visualization for sharing knowledge
- create collaboratively a data visualization based promotional item to persuasively share knowledge
- prepare a plan that describes how the data visualization based promotional item can reach targeted audiences through strategically selected communication channels.
Upon completion of this course:
1. Students will be able to define and describe a significant issue in journalism and mass communication.
2. Students will be able to demonstrate professional competence in a particular media practice.
3. Students will be able to demonstrate ability to reflect on their own media practice and develop strategies for improvement.
- Access to Webcampus outside of class time
- Access to computer labs at the Reynolds School outside of class time
- A Google Drive account
Grad student extra component
Each grad student will have extra requirements of participation in the class as follows:
- steering critical thinking direction in group projects, activities, and discussions
- one additional infographic assignment, either interactive or hand-rendered
Readings from the following books will be provided:
- Cairo, A. (2014). Ethical Infographics. IRE Journal, 37(2), 25–27.
- Higgins, N., Baslie, R., Van Hecke, S., Zissman, J., & Gillkeson, S. (2017). Data Visualization Methods for Transportation Agencies. Washington D.C.: The National Academies Press. Retrieved from https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24755/data-visualization-methods-for-transportation-agencies
- Collin, C., Grand, V., Benson, N., Lazyan, M., Ginsburg, J., & Weeks, M. (2012). The Psychology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained. New York: DK Publishing.
- Krzywinski, M., & Cairo, A. (2013). Storytelling: relate your data to the world around them using the age-old custom of telling a story. Nature Methods, 10(8), 687.
Re-Publishing and Sharing Work
To help future students, educators, and researchers do better work, your assignment submissions from this course may occasionally be shown in future classes, published online, in academic journals, or in printed books. If you would like to ensure your work is not viewed or published anywhere beyond this course, please let Katherine know at: khepworth at unr dot edu.
Any republishing will comply with FERPA and IRB guidelines. This message is in keeping with the policy of the University of Nevada, Reno Office of the General Counsel.
No funds? No problem! Make sure you have access to the hardware you need to complete your work at all times by borrowing equipment free of charge, including cameras, ipads, and laptops, from the following places:
- @One: visit - Level One of the Knowledge Center, or call on 784-4924
- Reynolds School Equipment Loans: visit - RSJ214 in the Reynolds School
Academic Success Services
Seeking help outside of class is the sign of a responsible and successful student. Your student fees cover usage of these on-campus services:
- Math Center: Email, visit - William Raggio Building, Rooms 1002 & 1003, or call on 784-4433
- Tutoring Center: Email, visit - Thompson Building 101M, or call on 784-6801
- University Writing Center: Email, visit - Pennington Student Achievement Center Suite 350, or call on 784-6030
Nevada Recovery & Prevention Community (NRAP)
NRAP provides an environment of nurturing support and peer connections for students choosing a substance-free lifestyle and students recovering from substance and behavioral addictions.
- Nevada Recovery & Prevention Community (NRAP): Email, visit - William Raggio Building #1001, or call on 784-6224
The mission of Counseling Services is to provide psychological services to students in order to support and facilitate their personal and academic success and development.
- Counselling Services: visit - Thompson Building #202, or call on 784-4648
Ability & Disability Services
Any student with a disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to speak with me or the Disability Resource Center (see details below) as soon as possible to arrange for appropriate accommodations.
- Disability Resource Center: Email, visit - Pennington Student Achievement Center, Suite 230, or call on 784-6000
Title IX Services
The University of Nevada, Reno is committed to providing a safe learning and work environment for all. If you believe you have experienced discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic/dating violence, or stalking, whether on or off campus, or need information related to immigration concerns, please contact the University's Equal Opportunity & Title IX office at 775-784-1547. Resources and interim measures are available to assist you.
- Title IX Coordinator Denise Cordova: Email, visit - Continuing Education Suite 206, or call on 784-1547
Guide to Winning
- Own your grade
Everyone starts with an F. Your grade increases with the volume and quality of your work.
- Own your actions
You are responsible for your own participation, behavior, learning, and work.
- Do more than you’re asked
Before every class, during class, after every class.
- Teach others what you know
This is the best way to learn. Plus, it’s nice to share.
- Make work into play
Finding ways to make work fun improves the quality of your work.
- Be nice
Life is too short to act like a jerk.
Open inquiry, freedom of expression, and respect for difference are fundamental to a comprehensive and dynamic education. This course and the instructor are committed to upholding these ideals by fostering an environment that is conducive to exploring, engaging, and expressing diverse perspectives and respecting diverse identities.
Honesty and Dishonesty
Cheating, plagiarism or otherwise obtaining grades under false pretenses constitutes academic dishonesty according to the code of this university. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and penalties can include canceling a student’s enrollment without a grade, giving an F for the course or for the assignment. For more details, see the University General Catalog.
Surreptitious or covert video-taping of class or unauthorized audio recording of class is prohibited by law and by Board of Regents policy. This class may be videotaped or audio recorded only with the written permission of the instructor. In order to accommodate students with disabilities, some students may have been given permission to record class lectures and discussions. Therefore, students should understand that their comments during class may be recorded.