I’m Sue Griffey and I direct the Evaluation Center in the Public Health Research group at Social & Scientific Systems.
I really like technology and the tools it’s given us – and I am always trying out new things. (I love the EZAnalyze program that Paul Pope blogged about a few days ago.) So, when I read about Wordle (http://www.wordle.net/ ) a couple months ago, I just had to try it – but on what? I decided to put the text of my biopara into it – and see what would result.
It was very instructive and helpful, as you can see from the following picture. (In the interest of full disclosure, I did edit out common words, as Wordle does allow you to remove words.)
Of course, I was glad to see that, as an evaluator, the word “evaluation” came out quite prominently. Since I came to my evaluation career through a variety of experiences and pathways, it was useful to see how those were reflected as well.
It was instructive and helpful for these reasons:
- It helped me see where some themes in my career and life came out as quite large visually. I reexamined how I wrote about those so that they didn’t override other information.
- I applied different templates in Wordle which also helped me see different visual themes and identify what I wanted to emphasize.
- I had fun doing it. (Don’t we all like to focus on our favorite subject?!)
- At the same time, it gave me ideas of how I could apply it in my work to see if I got the result I wanted:
- Apply it to an executive summary of a business proposal. Does the major theme you’re emphasizing come through visually?
- Apply it to a conclusion section of a report or an article. Does the Wordle of the conclusion show proportionally what you think you said?
What ideas do you have for how to use it?