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In the age of “Big Data,” information is often quantitative in nature. The ability to analyze information through the sifting of data has been identified as a core competency for success in navigating daily life and participation in the contemporary workforce. This skill, known as Quantitative Reasoning (QR), is characterized by the ability to integrate arithmetic, statistics, visualizations and models for the analysis and interpretation of information. For students of graphic design, QR competencies are essential for the design of effective visual displays of information.
This case study provides design educators with an assignment that introduces data analytics and visualization strategies to the design critique. The study describes how, in two sections of an undergraduate Information Design course, the traditional delivery of feedback through verbal dialogue was replaced with an anonymous survey. Responses were collated, stripped of identifiers, and distributed to the class with directions to create data visualizations of the critique. Students employed various mapping strategies in their visualizations and successful projects demonstrate acquisition of skills related to the analysis and interpretation of data.
Additionally, the assignment clarifies the criteria of success of design assignments and delivers focused feedback on student work.