Hi everyone! I’m Jordan Slice – a Research Specialist with Richland One, an urban school district in Columbia, South Carolina. Not long ago I wrote an aea365 post about how being a creator informs being an evaluator. As my original post may have made obvious, I’m a very visual person. That being said, I have a Rad Resource to share with you today that has become one of my favorite tools for organizing my thoughts, processes and evaluation findings into an easy-to-use visual format.
Rad Resource – LucidChart is a free, web-based diagramming software. Since the software is web-based, you can access it anywhere, and you can even share your creations with colleagues to collaborate in real-time. You can also save your diagram as a PDF. My favorite thing about LucidChart is how intuitive it is. I would estimate it took me about 5-10 minutes to master.
Recently I transitioned to a new job and upon leaving, I used LucidChart to outline a step-by-step process that I would be leaving to another colleague. Since it was a process that I didn’t do on a daily basis, I felt like providing a flowchart that she could refer back to as needed would be helpful. I added brackets around certain parts of the process to show an estimate of about how long certain pieces of the process would typically take.
Currently I’m working on an evaluation that I used a mixed methods approach for. The goal of this evaluation was to identify ways to better support a particular position. In analyzing the data from both interviews as well as a paper and an online survey, I’m watching some of the same themes appear. Since flowcharts are often an “if this, then that” tool, I’m using LucidChart to help categorize these themes with levels of recommendations flowing from the identified areas of concern. Since many of the themes are interconnected, I can use arrows to show the relationships.
LucidChart can be used to outline processes or step-by-step tasks, create a visual timeline for a project, organize evaluation findings and recommendations, or even to build a logic model.
Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.