Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Evaluating

We are halfway through May, pulling book orders together, up to our hips in student research projects, and database vendors are calling to check on renewals. We need to evaluate the year and make some careful decisions.

TagCrowd is a neat new (free) online tool that offers a snapshot evaluation, using tagcloud technology. Highlight a body of text, or submit a URL, and TagCrowd spits out a cloud that visually ranks word repetition. Del.icio.us, the social networking bookmark site uses this, as does LibraryThing.

Using it with my blog over the past year you can get an idea about what we have been doing. The word "comments" jumps out at me, which isn't surprising as so much of this year has been dedicated to getting feedback from students and teachers. The 5 Year Plan Survey generated a lot of information, and we will be working with the data over the next month to draft the final report.

Think about what it would be like for a student to use this to evaluate some writing, or to check a site for bias? I'm not sure how I'll be promoting this, but it is great tool to have on hand.

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