Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 Hours.
Practical 5 Hours.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assessment of visual information seeking systems 3000 words  60%
Semester Assessment Reflect on the value of visualisation for different audiences. (2000 words).  40%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed coursework 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

* Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of different Visualisation techniques in the context of information retrieval

* Evaluate applications for visualisation techniques in IR/IS.

* Assess the advantages and disadvantages of these methods for users and information suppliers.

* Evaluate the effect of use individual differences and learning styles on the the value and usability of visualisation in IR/IS systems

*Explain the basic methods used in the creation of visual information retrieval systems

*Evaluate the practical issues of different types of visualisation method.

Brief description

To visualize: "to form a mental vision, image, or picture of (something not visible or present to sight, or of an abstraction); to make visible to the mind or imagination"[The Oxford English Dictionary, 1989]. At last technology is offering some practical opportunities to allow realtime information retrieval to use visual cues as a presentation method. This module aims to introduce the concept of visualisation in information retrieval and to enable students to identify visual IR systems and methods, to assess the applications of visualisation in IR and other fields, to relate this to theory, research and practice.


1. Overview of Visualisation within the Information Retrieval and Information Seeking field.
2. Identify applications of visualisation and examples of current implementations. Including the uses of visualisation as a tool for presenting Text, WWW results, and other data.
3. Navigating and Interacting with visual information systems, including advantages and disadvantages of Visualisation for IR/IS.
4. Consideration of the influence of learning and cognitive styles upon effectiveness of these systems.
5. Practical issues in visualisation: animation, quality, technologies, access, training etc.
6. Evaluating systems and methods.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Incidental to the module, but topics will introduce areas of data manipulation and algorithms.
Communication Presentation by written formal report.
Improving own Learning and Performance Self reflection will be encouraged as part of the process of understanding the value of visual IR/IS systems.
Information Technology IT and Software skills are at the heart of developing knowledge in this field.
Personal Development and Career planning Not explicitly, though awareness of the issues
Problem solving Related to development of understanding and relation of this to detailed explanation of visualisation techniques
Research skills Preparation for coursework will involve basic information gathering techniques and summative skills
Subject Specific Skills Theory, software and research specific knowledge will be developed.
Team work Some element of team work within practicals may be included.


This module is at CQFW Level 6