Learning from Visualization: Insights from STEM and Cognitive Science Collaboration

Monday, 16 February 2015: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Room LL21F (San Jose Convention Center)
As the complexity of scientific findings grows, so too does the demand to convey new information in ways that are clear to experts and do not overwhelm students and citizens. Visualizations such as diagrams, models, and interactive maps convey data that span a vast range of spatial and temporal scales in all areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). However, pre-college and college students have difficulty understanding and using disciplinary visualizations. Because experts are often facile in using these visualizations, they do not recognize the need to develop instructional strategies for developing students’ skill in using visualizations. The symposium highlights an emerging program of research that combines disciplinary and cognitive science approaches to study how the mind comprehends spatial information in visualizations. Speakers will present interdisciplinary research that combines a STEM science with the cognitive science of spatial learning to bring new insights into teaching with and using visualizations. Principles of cognitive science can be used to support learning about visualizations, including diagrams and models, across the STEM disciplines. Grounding visualization research in disciplinary science means that outcomes will immediately address instructional challenges and will reveal how the mind processes the complex spatial information that is central to the understanding of nature and applications of scientific understanding.
Thomas F. Shipley, Temple University
Mary Hegarty, University of California
Mary Hegarty, University of California
Kim Kastens, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
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