Preparing Future Data Visualization Designers for Professional Practice

Paul Parsons

Room: 109

2023-10-22T22:00:00ZGMT-0600Change your timezone on the schedule page
Exemplar figure, but none was provided by the authors

As the professional field of data visualization grows, so does the importance of preparing students effectively for the demands of real-world practice. Computing education has historically sought to teach and evaluate abstract knowledge (e.g., theories, principles, guidelines, design patterns) and the application of such knowledge to given problems. However, situations faced in professional practice are often messy, dynamic, and uncertain, and do not lend themselves well to the clear and direct application of such knowledge. This leaves a gap between the knowledge learned in the classroom and what is required for skillful practice in professional settings. In this paper, I discuss some historical reasons for this dominant pedagogical perspective, some of the core features of professional practice that are not typically taught in classrooms, and ways in which data visualization design can be taught to be more resonant with the experience of professional practice.