This is how it works: First of all, I gave them a theme, “Homelessness in the U.S.” Based on that, I asked them to tell me an interesting data-driven story. It could be anything they choose: Homelessness among veterans, the relationship between homelessness and mental illness or drug abuse, how the economy affects homelessness rates, the change in a particular state or city, etc.
They also need to choose:
1. Their sources.
2. The publication they are working for: A news organization, a specific NGO, etc. The style of their graphics will greatly depend on this.
3. If they want to produce a large static graphic, an interactive visualization, or a story with charts and maps.
4. The tools to use: Illustrator, Tableau, d3.js, Processing, etc.
In the images below you can get an idea of the kind of feedback I give during the production. The deadline is Friday, but some projects look good already.