Opportunities to work together

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There are many skills involved in developing effective visualisations for education. Not only does it require good programming skills, it also needs a sound understanding of educational design and insight into how students learn. It is difficult to acquire this wide skill set when working in isolation. ImpVis therefore develops its visualisations in staff-student partnerships (read more about what this means here). Our members benefit from each other’s expertise as learners and instructors.

Most of our developers are not yet familiar with Javascript and HTML (the programming languages on which our visualisations are based) when they join our project. Over the years we have collated our community’s experience in a set of templates, guidance documents, and links to useful online resources in order to help new developers get started. Our enthusiastic experienced students also act as mentors to new students joining our community in order to help them learn the required coding skills.

Our community comes together in various different settings, explained in the sections below.

Term-time Code & Crisps

During term time (starting in January 2022 for academic year 2021-2022) we come together every Wednesday from 12:30 for Code & Crisps. This is a commitment-free drop-in session, where we come together to work on our visualisation projects. There are always experienced students available to help new students with the process. There are no deadlines or timelines for Code & Crisps project work, as we know that everybody (students and staff) will have many commitments during this time.

For students

Code & Crisps is the ideal no-pressure environment to get to know the ImpVis team. If you wish to join, drop us an email and we will let you know when and where the next Code & Crisps session will take place!

For staff

Many staff partners come to Code & Crisps to discuss their project ideas and see how we work. Projects started during Code & Crisps often are given high priority during the summer so they are likely to be finished to a high standard. Read about proposing a new project here, or drop us an email!

I-Explore for-degree-credit module

In the first term of the year (starting October 2021) we run an I-Explore STEMM module entitled: "ImpVis: designing interactive visualisations for education". Currently this module runs for all Imperial College students who take I-Explore in their second year (Maths, Physics, Life Sciences, MBBS and BMB).

The ImpVis module brings together students, teachers and creative professionals to create innovative designs for interactive visualisations. In the module, you will explore how interactive visualisations benefit students learning abstract concepts and engage with their design directly through projects that unite technical, graphic, and learning design. Working in partnership, you will have a lasting impact by contributing to our co-created knowledgebase on how to design such learning tools for education and by implementing these innovative tools in STEMM modules in higher education.

For students

There are no coding skills required for the module, as it will focus on the design stage of the visualisation creation process. The I-Explore module counts as 5 ECTS towards your degree programme - you will receive a mark but this will not carry any weight toward your degree average. Read more about the module in the I-Explore catalogue.

For staff

During the I-Explore module, students work in multidisciplinary groups to create an effective design for a visualisation. We only give students authentic projects, i.e. visualisation ideas that are genuinely to be implemented in a STEMM course. You can take part by becoming a staff-partner on such a project. To do so, you need to know (a) how the visualisation will be implemented within your course (e.g. for use in a lecture, self-study, with a problem sheet, etc) and (b) what its learning outcomes are (what crucial points do you want students to take away from it?).

The students will work on the design of the visualisation during term 1; afterwards we will take the design forwards to be coded up by our ImpVis community of developers, so you can expect to use it in your module in the following academic year.

Your time commitment will be a weekly meeting with your student group at a mutually convenient time, from week 3 to week 10 in term 1. During these meetings you will discuss the design of the visualisation - you will be the subject-expert and gradually the students will become the design experts. You will not have to undertake any assessment. During the coding phase (after term 1), you can meet at convenient times to discuss the progress; finally you will need to review the visualisation to ensure it is correct and meets the learning outcomes, before it is published on the ImpVis website.

Please get in touch if you would like to propose a project for the I-Explore module!

Summer projects

In the summer we usually run a team project with specific targets; we focus on the maintenance and improvement of the ImpVis project, for example updating the Wiki, improving existing visualisations, making changes to the visualisation template, and trialling new ideas.

For students

We advertise for ImpVis summer projects in the second quarter of the year on our Teams site and the StudentShapers website. These are supported by a bursary to cover living costs. To take part, you will need to respond to the advertisement and send in an application.

For staff

If you wish to have improvements made to an existing visualisation, we can do this during the summer break. Use the 'feedback' button on any published visualisation on the website to tell us about any issues you have encountered, or email us directly.

Satellite projects

Over the summer, there are often new visualisation projects carried out in StudentShapers projects. Our summer team can support these projects by sharing expertise and resources, helping new students get to grips with JavaScript & HTML and using our templates if they wish to do so. We can upload any output from these projects on the ImpVis website, so learners can easily access them.

For students

Keep an eye on the StudentShapers website for visualisation projects that are advertised with a bursary.

For staff

If you wish to develop a visualisation in the summer, we strongly suggest you apply for StudentShapers funding (deadline usually in February) to support a few students for 4-8 weeks over the summer break. We can work closely with you to develop your visualisation, or alternatively you can run your own project and talk to us when it has finished to have it published on the ImpVis website. Get in touch with us to discuss your ideas!