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Visualizing Data: Infographic Assignments across the Social Work Curriculum

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Today is the third day (Friday, March 3rd) of #BPDNOLA17, and I am presenting with some of my favorite #swtech peeps, Dr. Nathalie Jones of Tarleton State University and Dr. Melanie Sage of the University of North Dakota, at 1:45pm in Bayside C at the Sheraton in New Orleans. We will be talking about an infographic assignment that we jointly developed and implemented with students at each of our campuses. The use of infographics for classroom assignments is becoming commonplace in higher education, although less is known about its use in social work education. Our workshop will review how we collaborated to develop, implement and evaluate an infographic assignment for courses across the social work curriculum

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Visualizing Data: Infographic Assignments across the Social Work Curriculum

  1. 1. Visualizing Data: Infographic Assignments across the Social Work Curriculum Text Images Data Nathalie Jones, PhD, Tarleton State University Melanie Sage, PhD, U of North Dakota Laurel Hitchcock, PhD, UA at Birmingham
  2. 2. Learning Objectives By the end of this presentation we’ll teach you these things…. Recognize how infographic tools can be incorporated into assignments for social work courses. Understand how the use of social media as a teaching tool in undergraduate courses can be used to develop and assess social work competencies. Appreciate the role of collaboration to support the development and implementation of technology-based assignments in social work education.
  3. 3. Why use infographics in the Social Work classroom? Develop key digital literacy skills Effective way to communicate Increasingly popular
  4. 4. What is an infographic? Visual images and writing put together to explain/tell a story
  5. 5. Considerations for Digital Storytelling Hardware Software Techniques Outputs Ethics Smartphone Phone apps Record in quiet space Health messages Informed consent Video camera Storify Test sound quality Infographics Institutional review Audio Recorder Piktochart Use text to caption video Video shorts Professionalism Laptop/Desktop Powerpoint for slideshows Train participants to use technology Audio stories Confidentiality Microphone audacity Attention span 3-5 minutes Photo exhibits Student privacy
  6. 6. Tools for infographics Piktochart Venngage Canva PowerPoint
  7. 7. Infographic Assignment The Basics Infographic Assignment First Step Prepare for the Assignment. Second Step Learn the Technology Third Step Make your Infographic. Fourth Step Share your Infographic Fifth Step Reflection
  8. 8. Learning Outcomes: • Create an infographic that provides awareness and/or describes preventative measures related to a social problem • Conduct research to identify statistics, resources and other data relevant to a social problem • Conduct research to identify statistics, resources and other data relevant to a social problem • Demonstrate communication and advocacy skills by sharing and promoting one’s infographic via social media Step 1: Prep for the assignment Instructor introduces infographics and purpose of their use. Offers some quality measures. Students review some infographics. Choose a good one about a social-work-related topic to share (on a blog? In class? Blackboard? brief reflection on what you like/don’t?) Rate it against the class rubric Choose your topic. (We will have specific topics related to our courses, ie policy, mental health, etc) Find a research article (for practice topics) or legislative policy related to the topic. Carefully select some main points that you want to share visually. • Identify stakeholders for this topic, and choose an audience. It could be consumers, parents, practitioners, policy makers, social workers, students, etc. • Main points should highlight data, milestones, thesis statements, major findings, or key indicators that help offer the specific audience key information in a way that is accessible and important to them. • What images will help you visually represent these ideas? Imagine what picture or graphic will help you tell your story Step 2: Learn the technology Instructor will share YouTube videos of the use of Piktochart and VennGage, free infographic creators. Students will make time to seek extra help if necessary Step 3: Make your infographic and get feedback First draft infographic should first be rated by a peer using the class rubric (post at blackboard) Next step: email a stakeholder (author of article cited, policy maker, or other expert related to your chosen topic) and ask for feedback about clarity, accuracy, and usefulness of your infographic Step 4: Share your infographic Choose at least one Twitter hashtag relevant to your topic, and share your infographic via Twitter using this hashtag Consider sharing several times over several days, tag people in the infographic who tweet on this topic Consider what other strategies you would use if this were a public awareness campaign for an agency you represent Step 5: Reflection Which class infographic got the most shares and why? Which was viewed by the biggest audience and why? What is the value of social networks to social workers who have advocacy roles? Reflect on your learning related to (each practice behavior….. ) What else did you learn? Which of these skills do you expect to use in the future? Bonus: (Prize/extra credit for class-selected best? Most shared?) Extra credit for survey?
  9. 9. Assignment Specific Blurbs from our Syllabi Peer rating rubric
  10. 10. SOCW 3320: Service Learning at TSU Nathalie’s Assignment • The purpose of this infographic assignment is to help students practice advocacy & brokering skills as it relates to a human service issue and/or topic identified by the team/group. • Students are expected to create an infographic that provides statistics and/or facts on a chosen social problem as it relates to a particular population. • Additional details provided & discussed during class.
  11. 11. SW 422: Social Work Practice II at UAB Laurel’s Assignment • Infographics topics: • Non-profit Agency • Community Assets • Peer-reviews • Sharing on Twitter & Service Learning Partners
  12. 12. SWK 317: Social Work Research at UND Melanie’s Assignment • Infographics topic: • Find a research paper to turn in to an infographic • Include the research question, population, main data points, outcome, implications • Include APA citation • Peer-reviews to assure purpose, visualization, reference, and writing goals are achieved
  13. 13. Our Research Collaboration INPUT Independently working on infographic assignments Connected through Twitter Collaborative development research questions PROCESS Created a master infographic assignment Designed our SOTL study Student Survey #VisualSW OUTPUT Students from three different institutions creating infographics on different topics Data on student learning across demographics
  14. 14. Our Research Questions Can the use of infographics contribute to student learning about technology and about social work? If so, How? What factors have a positive and/or negative effect on the implementation of an infographic assignment? What differences do students perceive between an infographic assignment and a writing assignment?
  15. 15. Survey Approved by IRB at UND In non-technical language describe the purpose of the study and state the rationale for this research. This study will investigate the experience of undergraduate students in completing infographic assignments in social work courses across the curriculum and in multiple program across the US. The assignment involves students creating a visual product with text and images about a topic relevant to a social work course. A copy of this assignment is attached. We will assess both the process and the outcome of the assignment, gathering data that are informative for faculty and others who are engaging in similar instructive activities as well as the impact of the project on the student participants. Findings will include student-identified outcomes; successes and challenges of the implementation of the assignment; and empirically-supported suggestions for pedagogical best practices. The overall research question for this project is: Can the use of infographics contribute to student learning about technology and about social work? In non-technical language, please describe the study. Students will complete the assignment as part of a course requirement as well as a required post- assignment assessment survey (see attached). Our research involves analyzing the anonymous results of the required survey. No student names will be used during analysis and identifiers will not be recorded on a master list. Students may not opt out of the assignment or post-survey, but the decision to let researchers analyze their data is voluntary. Students will receive information about the study along with the survey and may opt out of the study by checking a box at top of the survey instruments.
  16. 16. Quantitative Results Student Demographics (N = 59) UND (n = 15) UAB (n =20) TSU (n=24) Total (N= 59) Average Age 24.5 years 25 years 33 years 28 years Female 13 (86%) 18 (90%) 18 (75%) 53 (90%) Non- Traditional Student 4 (27%) 5 (25%) 18 (75%) 27 (36%) UND = University of North Dakota UAB = University of Alabama at Birmingham TSU = Tarleton State University
  17. 17. Quantitative Results How comfortable are you with technology? (n = 59) Question How comfortable are you with technology? How comfortable were you with creating infographics prior to this assignment? Extremely comfortable 22 (37.3%) 2 (3.3%) Moderately comfortable 26 (44.1%) 7 (11.8%) Slightly comfortable 8(13.6%) 9 (15.3%) Neither comfortable nor uncomfortable 2 (3.4%) 14 (23.7%) Slightly uncomfortable 1 (1.7%) 10 (17.0%) Moderately uncomfortable 0 (0.0%) 7 (11.8%) Extremely uncomfortable 0 (0.0%) 10 (17.0%)
  18. 18. Quantitative Results How valuable was this assignment to your learning about…. (n= 56)? How valuable was this assignment in teaching…. Very valuable mostly valuable moderately valuable only a little bit valuable Not very valuable to interpret and communicate about a social work topic? 30 (54%) 18 (32%) 5 (9%) 1 (2%) 2 (5%) ...presenting statistics, resources and other data? 31 (55%) 14 (25%) 8 (14%) 0 (0%) 3 (5%) ...communication and advocacy skills ? 34 (61%) 13 (23%) 6 (11%) 1 (2%) 2 (5%)
  19. 19. Qualitative Results THEME #1 Technology Use Pro Very easy to use! Pro “I found it easy to complete, the professor did a great job at giving resources for the project.” Con “Some app-related issues; switched to a different site instead.” Con “Was a slow website to use on my tablet and glitches a lot so I went to a campus computer lab to finish it.”
  20. 20. Qualitative Results THEME #2 Assignment Style Pro “I loved this assignment. I would much rather create an infographic rather than writing a paper” Pro “I would have rather done the infographic than write a paper. I feel like, with the infographic you have to research a topic and write what you think is most relevant to share with others.” Con “It did not have an impact of learning in this assignment in comparison to other assignments in the class.” Con “This assignment was kind of difficult to me because I am not majoring in social work.”
  21. 21. Qualitative Results THEME #3 Pro “Having something tangible that uses the skills and advocates for the cause you are supporting couldn't be matched in a paper or a PowerPoint.” Pro “An infographic grabs the reader's attention faster than viewing a written paper or taking the time to view a PowerPoint presentation. Infographics are compact and the data is clearly stated.” Con “To be honest, I would have written a paper instead, because of how time consuming it was. I am glad that I know how to create one though.” Con “It was more time consuming because you spend most of your time formatting and making it look pretty then actually doing the research.” Learning Outcomes
  22. 22. Discussion/Lessons Learned Nathalie • Provide additional tech support during class. • Additional class discussion on steps. • Combine steps that seem to be somewhat simple. • Explain each step prior to the due date to ensure clarity. Melanie • Start early- this assignment has lots of pieces. • Provide in-class time for practice, group work, in- person trouble-shooting. • Shorten videos/use videos outside of class. Laurel • Connect assignment with digital literacy • Review an infographic before creating one • Connect assignment to real-world experiences • Model
  23. 23. Questions? Nathalie P. Jones, PhD, MSW Assistant Professor Tarleton State University @DrNJonesTSU Laurel Iverson Hitchcock, PhD, MPH, LICSW, PIP Assistant Professor University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) @laurelhitchcock Melanie Sage, PhD, LICSW Assistant Professor University of North Dakota @melaniesage Access slides and other info from this presentation: dnola17infographics/
  24. 24. References Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. (n.d.). Infographics. Retrieved May 21, 2016, from Council on Social Work Education. (2015). Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. Washington, DC: Author. Dyjur, P., & Li, L. (2015). Learning 21st Century Skills by Engaging in an Infographics Assessment. In Proceedings of the IDEAS: Designing Responsive Pedagogy (pp. 62–71). University of Calgary. Retrieved from Joosten, T. (2012). Social media for educators: strategies and best practices. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Kos, B. A., & Sims, E. (2014). Infographics: The New 5-Paragraph Essay. In 2014 Rocky Mountain Celebration of Women in Computing. Laramie, WY, USA. Retrieved from Martix, S., & Hodson, J. (2014). Teaching with infographics: practicing new digital competencies and visual literacies. Journal of pedagogic development, 4 (2). Retrieved from: 2/teaching-with-infographics