There are two versions of the course: a self-directed and a concurrent version. The versions of the course differ in the length of the course and level of commitment and participation expected from students they enroll. The course consists of a theoretical component and a hands-on component. The video lectures for the theory component explain the topic covered that week and the hands-on video tutorials cover tools and workflows for the same topic. The theory component and the hands-on component are stand alone.

Concurrent version

The concurrent version of the course is community driven and run synchronously with the IU for-credit versions of the course for 16 weeks. The course require about 8 hours per week of work.  All students taking the course (for-credit and for free) are expected to complete weekly homework assignments and quizzes, take the course exams, and participate in discussions and peer reviews. Students in the free version of the course also have the opportunity to work on a client project during the last 7 weeks of the course.

Students that complete the course with at least a final grade of 80% will receive a certificate of completion and digital badge for participation. Students wishing to participate in the concurrent version of the course must register by the start of second week of the course (January 16, 2018).

Self-paced version

The self-directed version provides the course materials and basic assignments to help introduce students to the concepts of information visualization at their own pace, which they may tailor to their specific aims and needs; instructors do not actively engage in this course, but will work with students that reach out for help.

Contacting Course Instructors and Teaching Assistants

Yes, students may contact Instructors and Teaching Assistants in the course. The discussion forums are the most appropriate venue for questions about the course, because it allows other students to see common questions and responses from TAs and instructors in the course.

The instructors and teaching assistants will monitor the discussion forums and try to respond to the questions that have gone unanswered by other students; in many cases, response from other participants and peers will be adequate and faster. Email should be used as a last resort, in particular, to let instructors know problems with exams and questions about grades and academic dishonesty.

Both the versions of the course are free for anyone who does not take the course for credit through one of Indiana University's Masters of Science or Online Certificate Programs.

The course may be taken at Indiana University for three graduate credits as part of the Online Data Science Program, as part of the Information and Library Science M.S. program, and as part of the online Data Science M.S. Program offered by the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. Students seeking enrollment information should contact the data science program at 812-856-5953 or

All of the software and services required for the course are free. Throughout the entirety of this course we will use open-source software and/or freely available services to complete the work required to obtain a letter of accomplishment and digital badge.

The IVMOOC is run using the Canvas learning management system. Course content and activities are provided to students through the Canvas course page, which may be accessed by logging on to the IU instance of Canvas.

Students enrolled for IU credits and any free students who indicate their affiliation with IU at registration will need to use their current IU username and password to access Canvas. All non-Indiana University affiliated students that sign up for the IVMOOC will have an IU Guest Account created for the course; these students should use the login information that was emailed to you by IU's University Information Technology Services (UITS) after you registered for the IVMOOC.

After you login to Canvas for the first time, you must confirm enrollment in the IVMOOC and complete the pre-course questionnaire for the course. All lecture slides are made available and links to relevant online documentation are provided when appropriate.

Students with visual and hearing impairments

In most cases, the answer is yes. We provide slides for all lectures and have made every effort to make the content accessible. However, because this is an information visualization course that relies on visual image comparisons, some of the content cannot by its nature be made accessible for print-disabled users.

Final grade is based on Homework and Quizzes (10%), Midterm (20%), Final Exam (30%), Client Project (30%), and Class Participation (10%).

Participants that receive more than 80% of all available points will receive a personalized letter of accomplishment and digital badge (shown below). Those who do not participate in the project but earn more than 80% of all points on exams will receive a participation badge

The course schedule with all due dates course syllabus. We highly recommend that you set aside a dedicated time slot each week to complete the work for that week to progress through the weekly quiz and homework assignments. Make sure you complete all material, self-assessments, and homework from the proceeding weeks before taking both the Mid-term and Final exams.

Major Dates

  • The Mid-term exam becomes available on February 6, 6a EST. The Mid-term has to be submitted by February 12, 8pm EST.
  • The Final Exam becomes available on February 27, 6a EST. The Final exam must be submitted by March 6, 8pm EST.
  • Client projects begin February 26th, with the final Client Project results are due April 24, 9am EST.

Technical Requirements

Most computers running either Linux, Windows NT, 2000, Vista, 7, or Mac OSX 10.4 or later will work fine. The system requirements for the three programs (Sci2, Gephi, and Inkscape) used in this course varies. However, computers with a 1GHz processor and at least 256MB of RAM should suffice, but faster machines with more memory will run the programs more smoothly.

IVMOOC Flashcard App

The flashcards app presents more than 50 visualizations taught in the Information Visualization MOOC (IVMOOC) at Indiana University. Learn the names, types, and properties of these visualizations to use them effectively. To learn about IVMOOC Flashcard App, visit the Google Play and Apple iOS stores.


Sci2 (v1.2) is a data analysis and visualization tool that lets students run replicable workflows, and is discussed in the Visual Insights textbook that accompanies this course. Students may be downloaded from the Sci2 web site. An account for the tool is created when you register for the course; to change your password for Sci2 you will have to use the password recovery page: To learn more about Sci2 see our documentation:

Gephi and Inkscape

Gephi is the leading visualization and exploration software for all kinds of graphs and networks. Gephi is open-source and free. To learn about Gephi, visit their site:

Inkscape is professional quality vector graphics software which runs on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows desktop computers. To learn about Inkscape, an open-source vector image editing program, see