This blog was originally published on AEA365 on December 28, 2018: https://aea365.org/blog/evaluation-reporting-with-adobe-spark-by-ouen-hunter-and-emma-perk/

Hi! We are Ouen Hunter (student at the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation Program, IDPE), Emma Perk (project manager at The Evaluation Center), and Michael Harnar (assistant professor at the IDPE) from Western Michigan University. Recently, we used PhotoVoice in our evaluation of an Upward Bound program and wanted to share how we reported our PhotoVoice findings using the cost-free version of Adobe Spark.

Adobe Spark offers templates to make webpages, videos, flyers, reports, and more. It also hosts your product online for free. While there is a paid version of Adobe Spark, everything we discuss in this blog can be done using the free version. The software is very straightforward, and we were able to get our report online within an hour. We chose to create a webpage to increase accessibility for a large audience.

The free version of Adobe Spark has a lot of features, but it can be difficult to customize the layout. Therefore, we created our layouts in PowerPoint then uploaded them to Spark. This enabled us to customize the font, alignment, and illustrations. Follow these instructions to create a similar webpage:

  • Create a slide deck in PowerPoint. Use one slide per photo and text from the participant. The first slide serves as a template for the rest.
  • After creating the slides, you have a few options for saving the photos for upload.
    1. Use a snipping tool (Windows’ snipping or Mac’s screenshot function) to take a picture of each slide and save it as a PNG file.
    2. Save each as a picture in PowerPoint by selecting the image and the speech bubble, right clicking, and saving as a picture.
    3. Export as a PNG in PowerPoint. Go to File > Export then select PNG under the File Format drop-down menu. This will save all the slides as individual image files.
  • Create a webpage in Adobe Spark.
          1. Once on the site, you will be prompted to start a new account (unless you’re a returning user). This will allow your projects to be stored and give you access to create in the software.
          2. You have the option to change the theme to match your program or branding by selecting the Theme button.
          3. Once you have selected your theme, you are ready to add a title and upload the photos you created from PowerPoint. To upload the photos, press the plus icon. 
          4. Then select Photo. 
          5. Select Upload Photo. Add all photos and confirm the arrangement.
          6. After finalizing, remember to post the page online and click Share to give out the link. 

Though we used Adobe Spark to share our PhotoVoice results, there are many applications for using Spark. We encourage you to check out Adobe Spark to see how you can use it to share your evaluation results.

Hot Tips and Features:

  • Adobe Spark adjusts automatically for handheld devices.
  • Adobe Spark also automatically adjusts lines for you. No need to use a virtual ruler.
  • There are themes available with the free subscription, making it easy to design the webpage.
  • Select multiple photos during your upload. Adobe Spark will automatically separate each file for you.

*Disclaimer: Adobe Spark didn’t pay us anything for this blog. We wanted to share this amazing find with the evaluation community!

About the Authors

Emma Binder

Emma Binder box with arrow

Marketing and Communication Specialist Senior, The Evaluation Center, Western Michigan University

Emma Binder is a Marketing and Communication Specialist Senior at The Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University and is the co-principal investigator for EvaluATE, the evaluation hub for the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program. She is the co-creator of creating one-page reports and specializes in data communication and visualization. She has over nine years of evaluation experience, presenting in webinars and workshops for national and international audiences, developing resources, newsletters, and reports.

Michael Harnar

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Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation The Evaluation Center

Michael has a Ph.D. in evaluation and applied research methods from Claremont Graduate University and has worked for more than 14 years in the evaluation discipline. He teaches in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in evaluation program at Western Michigan University. Dr. Harnar has worked on evaluation projects as diverse as educational programs for underserved minorities, community college program review and planning for accreditation, railroad safety programs, community-focused non-profit capacity building, program and curriculum development for online graduate education, and youth participatory evaluations. His research interests include evaluation quality assurance, evaluating social impact, evaluation and the sustainable development goals, and evaluation use.

Ouen Hunter

Ouen Hunter box with arrow

Doctoral Student The Evaluation Center

Ouen has a Master of Science in Biostatistics and Master of Social Work. Currently, she is pursuing the Interdisciplinary Philosophy of Doctorate in Evaluation at Western Michigan University. Her training from statistics and social work allow her to take either a quantitative, a qualitative, or a mixed-method approach. Ouen has completed evaluations on youth programs, workforce development, minority business leaders, urban farming, and arts and culture.

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