Do students attend to representational illustrations of non-standard mathematical word problems, and, if so, how helpful are they?

Tinne Dewolf, Wim Van Dooren, Frouke Hermens, Lieven Verschaffel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This article presents a framework for understanding and explaining digital creativity within the growing area of interactive visual analytics. Through the study of extant literature, existing software products, and our own development experience, various aspects of digital creativity are explored in the context of interactive visual analytics and its application to decision-making and problem-solving. The proposed framework explores and fuses a number of models of individual, social, and domain creativity. It explains the challenges of the analyst navigating through rapidly growing and ubiquitous digital data with an objective to explore it, discover its meanings and associations, as well as solve problems and arrive at effective business decisions. As a creative process, interactive visual analytics differs from other forms of digital creativity, as it utilizes analytic models, relies on the analyst's mental imagery and involves an iterative process of generation and evaluation of ideas in digital media, as well as planning, execution, and refinement of the associated actions. This process is also characterized as collaborative and social by nature as it comprises of analysts from data, problem, and visual domains, who share ideas and actions during analytic activities. We conclude by suggesting that interactive data visualization may provide opportunities for lay people to creatively engage with data analytics to explore the vast data resources that are freely available and in so doing, gain and communicate insights which may have the potential to impact their private lives and the world at large.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-171
Number of pages25
JournalInstructional Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • Eye movement research
  • Mathematics education
  • Representational illustrations
  • Word problem solving

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