You may have noted that I often have colourful pictures of sunsets, flowers and beaches in my postings and the reason is that I love nature and the bright, vivid colours tend to energise me as I write these blogs. I do enjoy looking at them 🙂
When we submitted Assessment 2 (as blogged previously), I thought whew that’s over and done with but I was sadly mistaken as it came back and we had to ruthlessly cut it down. I think we had done a thorough analysis but we had a lot of pages and we were asked to cut this right back so now we’ve ruthlessly pruned the content. Mark, Tom and I did the pruning and Mark did the graphs which I must say looks impressive 🙂 In addition, the formatting had to be redone and that as you know is another time consuming process.
In a sense it was easy to do as we had all the details. If we had not been as thorough then it would have been more difficult to go back and redo the analysis. So in a sense I’m satisfied with the outcome. We do have a lot of data and I felt that I was not doing the analysis justice by reporting just the main findings as it is the details that flesh out the results.
As the analysis was detailed and thorough, I summarised the results at the end of each evaluation question to make it reader friendly. This though added to the length and the summary of the findings was presented at the end of the each sample group. I also thought that repeating the research questions and answering them with the findings was more reader friendly as there’s a lot of information to follow for the reader. But this admittedly also adds to the length of the results and discussion section. And may be seen to be repetitive as well.
I had organised the data in tables as this was easy for me to analyse.But I do take on board the suggestions to make the presentation of the data more attractive using charts, graphs and diagrams. So this was useful feedback for me as it is important to consider the reader when writing up the results. The clearer and more explicit you make your findings, the less questions your reader has for you. Also I need to update my skills working in excel as churning out charts and figures using them is just fabulous.
In writing up the results, I had followed Debra Maddock’s exemplar as it too was on formative evaluation. I presented overviews to show how the findings would be reported, and tables relating the evaluation questions, sub-questions, questionnaire and interview responses. I had thought that this made the report more reader friendly as it indicated to the reader what to expect in the following sections. But this also increased the length and so had to be chopped.
What I’ve gained from this pruning process is to keep things short and simple. But this depends on the depth and breadth of the analysis. I wanted to do justice to the data collection, analysis and reporting of results process and so I did exactly that. But then in the midst of all that I had forgotten about the reader. It is so important to use strategies to make your writing reader friendly.
Well we finally submitted Assessment 2 for marking.