Creating Infographics for research data


Infographics have become a popular new trend on consuming data in a more elegant fashion than the boring tables and charts of the past.  So this year when I was working on sharing the student data collected for an online course (CEP 820) I am teaching this spring semester, I wanted to branch out into the art of infographics to share this information with students.

Every semester the students in CEP 820 fill out an introductory survey as the first order of business for the course.  CEP 820 is a course offered to master level students in Masters in Educational Technology program (MAET) or Masters in Education program (MAED) at Michigan State University.  CEP 820 has a course title of Teaching Students Online, and is focused around the concepts, theory and practice of developing online courses and modules for a variety of educational needs.  This survey is used to help this fully online class get a better perspective of the makeup of the study body.

This year I wanted to do something a little more contemporary with the data.  In the past the students are usually presented with a few graphs and statistics about the composition of the course.  For this year I decided to go a little out of the way and create an infographic poster.  My intent to create this poster was two fold.  First, I wanted something more contemporary and fun for the students to see and explore the data with.  Second, I wanted to create something that can easily be repurposed by any of the students or instructors of this course (eg paper/conference presentations, web portfolios, etc.).

Creating this infographic was very fun.  It allows the artist to represent data in a much more compelling way than just presenting the data as a standard chart.  Now, I'm not advocating that standard charts or data tables ever go away, it's just nice to have an informative poster in addition that can serve as a great entryway to get people interested in the data behind research.

I look forward to developing more infographics on some research that is currently ongoing.