Robert L. Martin Creative Consulting, New Media Design, Photography, and Printing

Robert L. Martin
Performance of Data: Involving Students in Data Analysis

I recently had a discussion with my mentor Dr. Charles Garoian regarding my concerns that my visualized information might be the only thing people are using when considering student performance. He did like that I “play” with the information before giving it solid form, and compared my process to a jazz musician “riffing”.

This riffing leads to the deterritorilizaiton from the domain of institutional power, requiring viewers to interpret the information from a new viewpoint. We riffed on the idea of literally “playing data” as a musical piece to the school board. The comparison between data and musical scoring leads me to think about my video pieces that respond to room input. I’m wondering if I can tie student performance to video of the ebb and flow of tides, and stream it live to the board room.

Recently the pieces made that envision student progress as variables in physics equations have been successful. Students identify with physical processes like orbits and trajectories, and can very clearly visualize their own performance in those domains when asked to. The visualization tools I’ve been building help students correct performance in “real time”, when the data is provided quickly. Unfortunately most of the data students would need to correct behaviors happens months after the event.

Leave a Reply