Data and Visualization Literacy

Established: January 1, 2011




In this new era of fake news, viral content and social media, data literacy is crucial. Modern citizens in our age of information need to be data literate in order to make informed decisions that may affect all aspects of their life: from personal ones (e.g. financial, medical) to societal ones (e.g. economical, political).  Informed citizens need to verify claims made by others upon data and make logical and informed decisions based on a rationale and evidence. They need to think critically about the source of data, its collection process and its potential biases.  They need to master how to craft accurate data visualizations and recognize when and how they may prove misleading.   Well-rounded minds should also be able to collect and reflect on their own data, form hypotheses about it; and possess the skills to validate or reject these hypotheses upon analysis.

Our line of research aims at defining the set of skills for becoming data literate and develop physical and digital pedagogical material to promote their acquisition from an early age.  As computer science researchers, we work in close collaboration with teachers to design, develop and evaluate our prototypes with students.

Early childhood and elementary education

C’est la Vis: a closer look at visualization literacy at elementary school leading to a touch interface to support peer-learning of data visualization via exploratory activities making the link between concrete and abstract data representations explicit.

EduFeedleveraging the mechanisms of a social news feed to enable preliterate children to select, perform and share literacy and numeracy activities they engage in and encourage peer-learning.


Secondary education

Data Comics: leveraging the expressiveness and engaging nature of comics to communicate on complex data-driven phenomena, such as the chain of events and complex dynamics which led to the world war I and its aftermath; or express the dynamics of connectivity within the human brain.

ClassSearch: a new method to teach web search skills leveraging visualization and social learning. Students learn by reflecting on their own behavior visualized in their own browser as well as observing the behavior of their peers visualized in a shared peripheral display.