PIs: Leilah Lyons, Joshua Radinsky, Andrew Beveridge
University of Illinois at Chicago
This is a research program to promote and study effective strategies and habits of mind for understanding complex geospatial data using interactive visualization tools, and to generate and test design strategies for such tools in three contexts: an online data access website, interactive museum exhibit, and social science classrooms. All three research sites will utilize geographic information system (GIS) visualization tools to give learners access to geospatially-referenced historical U. S. Census data for examining changing populations across space and time. These complex data tools are increasingly used in different disciplines and in multiple aspects of everyday life. However, how learners interact with them is still poorly understood. The three research sites will strategically employ multiple, coordinated research methods, including design-experimentation, machine-learning analyses, multimodal interaction analyses, and grounded-theory generation of hypotheses. The outcomes of these empirical studies, coordinated across three contexts, will be used for iterative generation and evaluation of design strategies to promote effective reasoning with complex data for learners in each of these learning environments. This project also will build a coherent, interdisciplinary understanding of representational fluency for complex geospatial data across learning contexts.