Instructional Design Visuals

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. Were I to use this online, I would probably create it with CSS.

Other Images

I regularly create images for event posts in my role as the social media manager for the Church of the Resurrection. This image was created for the 2017 Blessing of the Animals service, 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.

The following image was created as the promotional image for the 2018 Ash Wednesday service. It features the lyrics to a hymn, “Dust and Ashes,” that the Resurrection Choir performed during the service.

Text of Brian Wren lyrics for "Dust and Ashes" superimposed on a desert background

This last image was one I created just because it was New Year’s Day and I like the poem.

Tennyson's poem "In Memoriam [Ring Out, Wild Bells]" on a winter sunrise background.

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copyright N. M. Heckel, 2018