Interactive Word Cloud to activate pre-knowledge.

In my previous job as a lecturer at Hogeschool Zuyd I have run several workgroups on Qualitative Research for learning groups in their first year ICT. This course (in block 4) was more or less a continuation of a previous one about Applied Research (in block 2). To bridge both courses and to mobilise their pre-knowledge I used the technique of word clouding. On the basis of an easy question and using an online brainstorm the learners created a collective Word Cloud. My simple question was: “Write down the most important concepts, which popup in your mind concerning qualitative research”. After the input stopped, the final result was shown using a beamer.


Some of the results:
• students were enthusiastic about the interactive learning method
• a quick overview about their starting level
• a visualisation of the knowledge gaps by comparing it to a target word cloud
• a common ground to discuss what they have missed
• a possible input for a next elaboration of concept mapping

In this example (see picture) I did use the freeware product “Answergarden” (