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Digital Pedagogy: Data Visualization

data visualization iconWhat is data visualization?

Data visualization projects aim to use data to make visual arguments that display, often in an interactive format, relationships between data points. 

Learning objectives for digital assignments

Learning objectives are clearly defined statements of expected goals and outcomes from the student perspective. When a student finishes an activity or a lesson, what will they know, articulate, or be able to do?

Every digital pedagogy project should have learning objectives. Here are a few tips for creating student-centered objectives:

  • Relate the project to course objectives - what's the purpose of this digital element? Examples may include learning the digital tool, applying class knowledge, or communicating their research.
  • Consider transferable skills (creating a visual argument) rather than hard skills (use a dashboard in Tableau).
  • Create a rubric around the learning objectives to use when evaluating students' work.
  • Focus on the process, not the final product. 

Getting started: try Bloom's Taxonomy Action Verbs for sample action verbs to use in learning objectives.


Example learning objectives for data visualization 

Students will be able to...

  • compare how organizations with different biases and agendas visualize the same data differently, and they will be able to articulate the effects on the consumer.

  • analyze a given data set and choose effective, ethical graphic representations to make a visual argument.

Tools & Tutorials

>Below are tools to get started with data visualization:

undefined Tableau - a user-friendly software application used to create static or interactive visualizations and dashboards.

UNC students and instructors can get a Tableau license for educational purposes.​ See Library Data Services events for upcoming Tableau workshops

undefined Excel - a user-friendly software application used to create static or interactive visualizations and dashboards.

Students can download the Microsoft Suite for free through the ITS Software Acquisition site See Library Data Services events for upcoming workshops on working with data in Excel.

undefined R and Python - R and Python are free programming languages that can create reproducable data visualizations using large amounts of data. 

See Library Data Services events for upcoming workshops on R and Python.

undefined Piktochart - a free, user-friendly online tool for creating infographics, diagrams, and other graphics.

Icon "chart" by ghufronagustian from the Noun Project

Example Project

Sample projects coming soon!

Finding Help


Library Support

To get started with digital pedagogy and lesson planning after exploring this guide, contact Sarah Morris ( or (919) 962-2094).

Table of Contents

  • What is data visualization?
  • Creating learning objectives
  • Tools & tutorials
  • Sample project gallery
  • Finding help

Data Visualization Services Librarian

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Lorin Bruckner
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University Libraries
Davis Library
Campus Box 3950
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3950
(919) 962-4635

Humanities Research and Digital Instruction Librarian

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Sarah Morris
Pronouns: She/her/hers
123 Davis Library