EDTECH #505 Reflection 9 – Data Representation

It was very helpful to spend some time reviewing good practices for data representation in print.  While I have frequently made use of charts and imagery to highlight or break down data, I never gave much thought to how that information could be prepared to present the strongest statistics possible without misleading the reader.  My lack of thought in this regard may stem from my lack of use of pictures in charts, leaning more towards graphs or pie charts.  After processing the readings and reviewing samples however, it became clear how easily images can distort and mislead a reader.  The problem arises from the fact that scaling an image up or down changes more than one variable.  As an image scales up or down both width and height change which conveys information that is not necessarily relevant or true to the data collected.  The whole point of conveying data in the form of charts, tables, graphs, and images in a scientific or educational presentation is to support the relevancy of the material contained within the presentation.  Using supporting data that misleads the reader or audience completely defeats the purpose.

I think that moving forward it will still require a fair amount of practice and simple trial and error to determine which forms of data presentation are the most appropriate in any given situation.  Moving forward in evaluation and Education Technology, I do not expect that finding evaluations to practice on will be a problem, and for the most part, any presentation can make use of the accurate portrayal of supporting data!

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