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Reflection and Discussion

The workshop was planned for a 90-minute slot as part of the summer school program, which we consider a minimum requirement. If the workshop is to be conducted in a shorter time frame, the tasks would need to be reduced. Although all teams were able to complete the five steps of the workshop, the depth of engagement with the visualizations and the final group discussion would have profited from more time. The participants' ability to critically evaluate visualization designs did not only support them in their own visualization projects, but also translated into how they were able to provide feedback during the final project presentations that concluded the summer school.  

After the first installment of the workshop during the summer school in September 2021, we conducted the workshop again as a course assignment during the Data Visualization course in the Winter Term of 2021. Based on our learnings from the summer school, we included a short »gallery session« of 5 minutes that helped the students to grasp the concept of stakeholders. The gallery session took place after the groups have worked on step two - specification of the application contexts and (intended) stakeholders of the visualization. For the gallery session, each group was asked to arrange their material (sheets and post-its) on their desks and should also make the visualization assigned to them accessible on a screen. The students then take 5 minutes to walk around the room and read what other groups have collected so far. Afterwards, a short group exchange takes place and the groups get the opportunity to write down additional observations that the others have provided them. 

Having conducted the same workshop twice, once in a purely online format, once in an in-person classroom format, we can conclude that the self-guided workshop is well suited to guide the participants through the steps. However, the activity in small and separated groups of 3-4 people creates a setting in which each group is primarily focused on their assigned example visualization. While it would have been unfeasible and disruptive to gather the whole group after step two (i.e. have them leave the breakout rooms, gather in the main videoconference, go back to the breakout rooms), this was easily done in the classroom situation. We highly recommend to include the gallery session, which provides the participants with more insights. If the workshop is to be conducted in an online format, we recommend to plan more time that would also allow for a back-and-forth shift between breakout rooms and main session.