CMS.631 | Spring 2017 | Undergraduate
Data Storytelling Studio: Climate Change
Instructor Insights

Using a Class Blog for Learning

In this section, Rahul Bhargava shares two pedagogical reasons he asks students to post their assignments to a class blog in CMS.631 Data Storytelling Studio.

Experience Being Part of the Field

"The field of data storytelling is so new that the handful of textbooks that exist don’t adequately cover the space. The majority of the field-defining literature is being created by people working in the field and thinking out loud on blogs."
— Rahul Bhargava

Students post all of their course assignments to our class blog. There are two pedagogical reasons I ask them to do this. One is that the field of data storytelling is so new that the handful of textbooks that exist don’t adequately cover the space. The majority of the field-defining literature is being created by practitioners thinking out loud on blogs. I want students to experience being part of the field by writing on our blog about what they’re making in the class. For each sketch, students write a process post about the data they used, how they analyzed the data set, what factors they left out of their analysis, etc. That’s very intentional, because I want the posts to look like artifacts of learning, not artifacts of production. I turn off comments to communicate to public consumers of the blog that this is a space for learning, not for critiquing final products.

Classroom Logistics

The second reason is logistical. I often ask students to respond in writing to an online visualization of data. They answer questions critiquing how the data was used, the format of its presentation, etc. In class, students pair up to share their responses with each other. The class blog makes it easy for them to reference their work.

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Spring 2017
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