Final Course Reflection

            Engaging in the curriculum associated with Quantitative Text Analysis this semester was a meaningful experience for me. I have learned of many different ways in which I can represent data to fit the specific needs of a given study. In our text, Visualize This, by Nathan Yau, he explained that whether we are looking for an overall trend in data, information based upon outliers of a data set, the number of recorded incidences of an occurrence in a given state, each and every need corresponds to a data representation that would best display your need.  

            While working through this course, I thought to myself that it would have been useful to engage in this curriculum before completing my research paper in ED690 last semester. In Visualize This, Nathan Yau explained, step-by-step, how to make data representations look more appealing to the reader by editing the visual representations in Adobe, and I feel this could have helped me make my project more appealing. Moving forward, I feel that I would use these types of applications for myself. Being an educator, I am constantly striving to become the best version of myself. Learning these types of data visualizations can help me to organize, support, and grow from data collected in my own classroom.

            In terms of our text this semester, I think that Visualize This, by Nathan Yau, was one of the best text selections I have read throughout this program. Typically, I am not the one who is easily drawn in by texts of any kind, however, I felt that the way that Yau presented the information in the text was very relatable and easy (well, easy enough) to follow! I found it very beneficial the way that Nathan Yau explained his R Studio examples step-by-step. This not only helped me to truly understand the code by attempting it hands on, but it helped me to find my mistakes (most of the time), so that I could persevere and move onto the next R example.

            Overall, I really enjoyed immersing myself in the material that this course had to offer. I look forward to what my final semester in the program has in store!

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito


      I am glad you found the text so valuable. I am working with another one at the moment, which is called Text Analysis with R for Students of Literature. A chunk of my current research (as we discussed last week) is focused on analyzing student journals and so I thought it might be helpful. Then, I would look to create some stunning visualizations, a la Yau.

      I have also decided to add some work in R to Computer Science for Teachers, based largely on your experiences in this course.

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