Qualitative Assessment of Online Participation

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As mentioned in Discussion Feedback and Grading, there is no simple way to get grading for the online parts of class (Online Discussions and Seek and Finds).

There are the “quantitative score” (the 1-5 score you got each week) - these are uploaded to Canvas.

Then there is the qualitative part. Where we group things together into 5 week chunks and give an overall assessment. We had given you the statistics for your posts for the first weeks, but the actual grades were done manually.

The “qualitative scores” are posted as a Canvas comment to the grading column “Qualitative Discussion” (please do not reply to Canvas Comments!).

We will explain how we will use these scores later.

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The week after Vis: December 15-19. Beyond the End

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For the past 15 weeks, you would be expecting the “Week in Vis” posting around now.

To help you transition to the world without the weekly Friday posting, here is a last one. (probably not the last posting)

There is a survey Survey 15: End of Semester (due Fri, Dec 11) - technically, it’s due today, but I won’t fault anyone for doing it after DC3 is handed in. In fact, you get my sincere appreciation for doing it at all. The feedback will really help me plan future classes. The survey will stay open through next Wednesday (the 16th).

As you know, the DC3 Deadline is here. The deadline is officially Sunday Monday, 11:59pm (yes, there was a typo that said the 14th was Saturday). Please turn everything in as promptly as possible.

The project description is a little vague on turning things in late. It says “this deadline is firm” in bold, but it also says you can turn things in late (on the 15th) for a penalty. Let me pre-empt the wave of Piazza posts and emails…

On Monday Tuesday morning (December 15th), Young and I will meet and start grading. If you turn things in before then, we won’t notice. And no, I can’t tell you when we will start (OK, it won’t be before 9am).

Once we start grading… we will look through all the assignments and put them into batches so we can group like assignments together. If your assignment isn’t there, we can’t determine which batch to put it in. Also, we will use Canvas to download everything in “batch” - so if yours isn’t there, we will have to make a special trip to Canvas. It’s a hassle for everyone. Also, when we do our initial check on Monday Tuesday, if there’s a problem, we will contact you with a chance to fix it. If you try to turn things in late, you will lose that opportunity. So, there’s no specific penalty - but it affects how we evaluate assignments.

So, just please turn everything in before Monday Tuesday morning.

A Proper Ending for Class

Having BBCU die in the middle of lecture was not the way I had hoped to end the semester. I am not sure what to do after that. I’ll probably make a posting at some point over the weekend. There will also be a final posting explaining the details of how grading worked out. And maybe something about how to pursue Vis beyond class for those who are interested.

And about grading details… We have a lot of grading information, but we might not be able to get it all uploaded to Canvas.

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The Week in Vis 15 (Mon, Dec 7-Fri, Dec 11): Presenting the End

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This should be the last week in Vis announcement for the year. Wednesday is the last day of class. We’ve gotten to the end.

One last lecture. I’ll put together two things:

  1. I’ll talk about presentations. Usually, it’s a free form, interactive rant. I have no idea how that will work online. I’ve been told its useful. I may try to update it to talk about the weirdnesses of online presentations. I suspect they aren’t going away. There is some “reading” Readings 15: Presentations.

  2. I’ll try to do some “summary” to try to tie things together.

There will be a survey. This time, its mainly to help me. Yes, I know that you are doing your course evaluations as well (thank you). But I can really use your answers to help me plan future classes. I am very curious how things worked for you.

There is an online discussion - I’d like you to think about presentations a bit. Think about it before you hear me rant on Wednesday. And a seek and find - because they are hopefully habit by now. While this might be the last one you give to me, I hope you continue to observe examples in the world to learn from.

Of course there’s Design Challenge 3. Yes, the final deadline is a hard deadline. We have to grade things and we need enough time.

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Dear Data Design Exercise (was Online Discussion 14)

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Instead of Online Discussion 14, I am going to ask you to do a design exercise.

You will turn it in as Online Discussion 14: Dear Data Design Exercise - the initial posting is due on Friday. I do hope that you’ll try to give feedback and critique to others after that!

The exercise is based on the book Dear Data. I’ve done variants of the exercise in class for a few years - it’s always fun and inspiring. This year, we don’t have time in class, so we’ll try parts of it as an “at-home” design exercise.

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The Week in Vis 14 (Mon, Nov 30-Fri, Dec 4): Sci Vis and Uncertainty

in Weeks in Vis

As the semester comes to a close, I find myself with so many things left to do and discuss with the class, but so little time.

We’ll cram two big topics into one week:

  1. Standard Scientific Data Types - Scientific Visualization is a different field than the “information visualization” we’ve been studying. But I want you to at least have the basics.

  2. Uncertainty - this is a “hot topic” right now, and very important in a lot of visualization work (or should be important).

But… since its the end of the semester, and you should be working on DC3, and we’re all a bit burned out from the COVID semester… we’ll have light reading, and we’ll skip online discussion and have a design exercise instead.

Instead of the “usual” online discussion - we’ll have the Dear Data Design Exercise (was Online Discussion 14). There will be no Tuesday required posting, just one required posting for Friday. It’s something that has been a fun in-class exercise over the years, and gives you a chance to reflect on all the design aspects you’ve learned over the semester.

There are DC3: The Tree of Stuff phases due. At this point, we’re mainly checking to make sure that people are making progress.

Other than that, it will be a pretty usual week… Seek and Find, Survey, Lectures, you know the pattern. Now that you’ve gotten used to it, we’ve gotten to the end - this is the last full week.

If you’re wondering what happened to 3D… It was the “loser” in the poll we had a few weeks ago. It was the topic that most people thought we could skip.

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Eval Exercise

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Understanding the nested model is really important. So, we’ll have an exercise that will force you to use it and think about how it applies to DC3: The Tree of Stuff (which you should be working on).

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The Week in Vis 13 (Mon, Nov 23-Fri, Nov 27): Evaluation

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It’s (American) Thanksgiving week. In terms of class, this means no lecture on Friday, and, in general, a reduced week. We’ll only have one required posting. Seek and Find 13 is cancelled.

But the topic is a big one: Evaluation. How do we know that our visualization is good? Normally, I put this at the beginning of class, so we can use the ideas as we go through things. Evaluation shouldn’t be an afterthought: it should be core to our thinking about visualization.

We’ll have a lecture Wednesday. And Readings 13: Evaluation - which is a relatively big reading. These are particularly worthwhile - important stuff. The readings in the last weeks are light.

In these weeks, we will have “exercises” (due on Mondays). The Graph Exercise (due Monday, November 23) is about last week’s material. The Eval Exercise is due the following week - it’s a short thing to help you think about Munzner’s nested model (which is a big deal)!

Of course, DC3: The Tree of Stuff is going on. While the initial deadlines don’t ask you to do much (other than confirm you are working on it), the actual deadlines are coming up fast.

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Graph Exercise

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This is an exercise I usually do in class. We’ll do it individually as “homework”. You must turn it in. We will grade it for “effort” (check/no check, and maybe a notation for something exceptional).

You must draw out all of the parts. Draw it by hand - do not use software to do it (that defeats the purpose). Turn in a PDF or image file with your pictures. Graph Exercise (due Mon, Nov 23)

One caveat: once you see “the answer” everything else is obvious. Try not to cheat.

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The Week in Vis 12 (Mon, Nov 16-Fri, Nov 20): Graphs

in Weeks in Vis

Now we switch gears from the low level (perception) to something more computational.

Graphs (as in “networks” not charts) are a common and important data type (or kind of data type). They have unique challenges and a rich literature. We can spend a whole semester on graphs - but we won’t.

We’ll have a graphs design exercise (details forthcoming), and DC3: The Tree of Stuff is mainly about a specific kind of graph. DC3-1: Project Kickoff (due Mon, Nov 16) and DC3-2: DC3 Survey (due Mon, Nov 23) don’t ask for much - but you might want to get started on the assignment since the end of the semester has a way of coming up fast.

But… this week we’ll have a special guest lecture that probably won’t be about graphs. Prof. Alex Endert from Georgia Tech will talk about interactive systems for analysis. Alex’s group has built many systems - some of them for graphs. But I think his focus will be broader than just graphs.

DC3 is starting up.

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The Week in Vis 11 (Mon, Nov 9-Fri, Nov 13): Color

in Weeks in Vis

Another week of perception related topics, this time focusing on color. I used to spend 2 weeks of class discussing color because there is so much to say. We won’t get to talk about everything.

We will, however, have another special guest on Friday: Prof. Danielle Szafir from the University of Colorado. Danielle is Dr. Color. She was also a student in the very first offering of this class! In preparation for her class visit, I’ve included one of her recent papers in the reading list.

DC1-5: Redux (due Mon, Nov 9) is due at the beginning of the week.

Design Challenge 3 (DC3: The Tree of Stuff) is coming! If you want to do the DC3 Alternate Assignment: Machine Learning, you need to email the Professor to make arrangements before Friday, Nov 13, so you can have a proposal together for Monday, Nov 16. Otherwise, DC3-1: Project Kickoff (due Mon, Nov 16) basically only asks you to confirm that you’ve read the assignment.

My intent was to have another design exercise for this week - but I didn’t get it prepared in time. Expect some more design exercises to be mixed in with class activities over the remaining weeks.

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DC3 Alternate Assignment: Machine Learning

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This is an alternate option for DC3. I expect most people will want to do the regular DC3: The Tree of Stuff assignment. This assignment may be more work, and is more exploratory, but if it connects to other work that you would want to do anyway, then it may be attractive to you.

Visualization for machine learning is a hot topic that many people are interested in (from the Vis side and the ML side). Given the interest in it, I wanted to let students have the option of doing their final “project” in this domain. But, the problem is that in order to do visualization on machine learning things, you have to have done the machine learning work to have things to visualize.

If you are willing to do some machine learning work to generate your own data read on…

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DC1 Redux

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I know you were expecting Design Challenge 3 (since we skipped Design Challenge 2) - but first, we’re bringing back DC1.

In this assignment, we will give you a chance to revisit DC1, to allow you to learn from the feedback that you have gotten. Note that this counts separately from DC1 - we will grade it separately, and give you a letter grade. Since it’s a 1 week assignment, it will count 1/4 as much as DC1 and DC3.

For Monday, November 9th, you may turn in another design that presents the same story as one of your designs.

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The Week in Vis 10 (Mon, Nov 2-Fri, Nov 6): Perception

in Weeks in Vis

Now that we’ve returned from the conference, we can move to one of my favorite topics: perception. How we see, and how it influences visualization.

Visual perception is an entire field unto itself. We will just get a few basics of how people see, with a focus on the ramifications for visualization.

In addition to some standard readings, I am asking you to watch a video of a Steve Franconeri talk. Steve is a perceptual scientist who has become interested in visualization. He’ll be a special guest in class on Friday. Watch the talk first - then in class, we’ll apply the ideas to critique visualizations.

There is no design challenge now… expect it soon. First I want to provide feedback on Design Challenge 1.

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