With most of my instructional design work focused on literature and composition courses, I’ve become fond of word clouds as a quick and easy piece of visual media to include in my classrooms.


This first word cloud is one I created for a course on learning about diversity in the US through contemporary American literature. The course contains literature from Americans of many backgrounds, particularly minority backgrounds, and focuses on helping students to understand the broad range of experiences and perspectives that fit under the broad category of “American.”



This second word cloud was created for a lesson on plagiarism that could be used in a variety of courses. I tried to focus on the positive side of academic honesty, and on resources that can help students to learn about and practice good citation habits.



This last word cloud is included in the section of that lesson that focuses on plagiarism, and is meant to communicate the warning element of the lesson. It includes words associated with academic dishonesty as well as types of media that can be plagiarized.

Word clouds are not, of course, the only items I’ve created. I also create graphics for drag-and-drop quiz sections; this one is from the same plagiarism lesson:


It’s just a simple background image and boxes with text, but it does what it needs to.

For a completely different sort of image, here’s a visual that I created for an event post, the Blessing of the Animals, on Church of the Resurrection’s Facebook page; it combines Creative Commons images from Pixabay:


Amusingly, one animal I deliberately chose not to include, a chicken, was present for a blessing that day.


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copyright N. M. Heckel, 2018