Media Arts Centers as Alternative Archival Spaces: Investigating the Development of Archival Practices in Non-Profit Media Organizations

In the United States, archival institutions have prioritized the preservation of commercial and Hollywood cinema overlooking small-scale media production by non-professionals and independent media artists. Media arts centers, however, have played a pivotal role in the continued access, use, and preservation of materials produced by the communities that they serve. These non-profit media collectives were imagined as a distributed network of organizations supporting the production, exhibition and study of media; serving as information centers about media resources; and supporting regional preservation efforts. However, media arts centers have remained over-looked and unexplored by the archival field. This dissertation seeks to shift this balance, including these artist-run organizations as part of the network of archives and collecting institutions preserving independent media.

Continue Reading →

Locating Traces of Hidden Visual Culture in Rare Books and Special Collections: A Case Study in Visual Literacy

The author describes the recent collaboration of a special collections librarian and an art history professor at McGill University to integrate primary source material into a semester-long undergraduate course assignment and subsequent exhibition and catalog. The fourth-year art history course, Canadian Slavery and Its Legacies: A Curatorial Seminar, required students to select and prepare an exhibition catalog entry for two visual objects (prints, maps, books, plates, ephemera, objects) from within the holdings of McGill Rare Books and Special Collections. Through in-class visits and individual consultation, the librarian guided students in navigating special collections for the first time, thus easing feelings of “archival anxiety” and illustrating the role of special collections in academic research.

Continue Reading →

Learning Through Mini-Documentary Video Projects

Mini-documentary video projects are short factual videos that can be created by students. The mini-documentary video is generally suitable for entry level skill sets and online distribution. Multiple interrelated competencies can be attained while researching a topic, collecting media assets, recording original content, composing, editing, and producing a mini-documentary video project. This paper outlines a conceptual framework for learning through mini-documentary production, which is based on experiences working with adult students in an online course featuring video editing for YouTube. Three interrelated areas where learning can occur are discussed: (1) visual and media literacy, (2) copyright and fair use, and (3) educational video design. Strategies that have worked in past iterations of the course are described as well as problems or issues to be aware of prior to implementing projects like this in the classroom.

Continue Reading →

Improving Visual Communication of Science Through the Incorporation of Graphic Design Theories and Practices into Science Communication

Visual culture is becoming an increasingly prominent part of our cultural identity in the 21st century. Consequently, images have become an important tool with which to communicate science. We identify two impediments to science communicators using visual elements effectively: (1) visual material is typically treated as an add-on instead of being an integrated part of the whole and (2) there is a lack of identifying target audiences and refining visual elements for them specifically. We argue that science communicators can become more effective visual communicators if they incorporate elements of theory and practice from the discipline of design.

Continue Reading →

Development of Visual Skills: Digital Photography as a Tool for Research and Teaching in Architectural Education

An architect’s education requires a broad mastery of visual skills. Particularly in design courses, students must demonstrate the skills necessary for the use and production of images to achieve a competitive academic performance. However, the development of these skills in students and the evaluation of their work by faculty members are based mostly on subjective criteria supported by the faculty’s experience. The research used digital photography as an object of research to understand the processes of learning in architectural design. The results help to establish new educational strategies for the development of visual skills to be used during the design process. The collaboration between faculty members and librarians of the School of Architecture at the University of Puerto Rico presented new partnerships that have enriched the planning process of different pedagogical activities for the advancement of knowledge with the development of visual literacy skills in students.

Continue Reading →

Crafting Knowledge with (Digital) Visual Media in Archaeology

Visual producers have a deep and inseparable relationship with the institutionalisation and development of archaeological practice. Their role in articulating concepts, circulating knowledge, refining interpretations, and publicising sites, finds and features – indeed demarcating those sites/finds/features in the first instance – is hardly a point for contention today.

Continue Reading →

Development of Visual Literacy Levels Scale in Higher Education

The aim of this study is to develop a scale determining the visual literacy levels of university students. After reviewing the relevant literature a 75 item draft scale was prepared. The scale was applied to 3rd and 4th year students of Education Faculty of Amasya University. Non-functional items have been excluded from the scale as a result of the factor analysis and 41 items have been included. It has been determined that the statements in the scale are gathered in 7 dimensions. These dimensions consisted of: “Identification of the need for visual”, “Finding and accessing visual sources”, “Analyzing and interpreting the visuals”, “Evaluation of visuals and visual sources”, “Effective usage of visuals and visual media”, “Designing and creating visuals” and “Taking ethical and legal issues into consideration”.

Continue Reading →

Comics to the Rescue: Finding Innovative Applications for Library Digital Learning Objects

When faculty were asked to use online assignments to make up the class time lost due to Hurricane Sandy, librarians at Lehman College’s Leonard Lief Library spotted a new opportunity for the Library’s Web comics. This article describes the partnership between the Library and the College’s Art Department that led to the development of the Web comics, provides readers with a model for responding to circumstances creatively, and puts forward an approach for combining digital learning objects with writing assignments to meet faculty needs.

Continue Reading →

Building Blackboard Innovation Practice Platform Based on Multimedia Literacy

“Considering some deficiency of college students’ innovative project construction and general lack of innovation incubation platform, this paper puts forward a framework of Blackboard-based multimedia innovation practice platform. Logically, the platform contains three correlated layers: the multimedia literacy layer (foundation), incubation layer (core) and innovation practice layer (goal). From the perspective of multimedia literacy, the function of the platform is designed. Several years of practices have proved that the building of the platform is helping and motivating more and more college students to step on the way of innovation practice.”

Continue Reading →

Archival Literacy for History Students: Identifying Faculty Expectations of Archival Research Skills

“Although finding, interpreting, and using archives is inherent in the study of history, no standard identifies the archival research competencies college history students should possess. The purpose of this study is to identify history faculty expectations of undergraduates regarding their archival research skills and, based on those expectations, to create a list of archival research competencies that could be incorporated into the history classroom or introduced by the archivist in archival literacy sessions.”

Continue Reading →

An Investigation into the Impact of Visual Aids in Post-Compulsory Education

“This study seeks insight into the use of visual aids in contemporary post-compulsory teaching. This thesis comprises a two-part study and employs a mixed methods approach. The first part inquires into teachers’ and lecturers’ practice with regard to their visual aids, and the second compares the effectiveness of text, images and imagery displayed in support of a lecture.The findings of the thesis are combined to propose a principle of Visual Working Memory Utilisation (VWMU), upon which future research into visual aid design and use in post compulsory education might be based.”

Continue Reading →

Visual Literacy Standards in Higher Education: New Opportunities for Libraries and Student Learning

“Visual literacy is essential for 21st century learners. Across the higher education curriculum, students are being asked to use and produce images and visual media in their academic work, and they must be prepared to do so. The Association of College and Research Libraries has published the Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, which, for the first time, outline specific visual literacy learning outcomes. These Standards present new opportunities for libraries to expand their role in student learning through standards-based teaching and assessment, and to contribute to campus-wide collaborative efforts to develop students’ skills and critical thinking with regard to visual materials.”

Continue Reading →

Visual Literacy and the Digital Native: Another Look

“A conceptualization of visual proficiency is offered. A survey is described which asked college students (N=358) to identify five photographs, five symbols, and five paintings that are generally recognized to be “famous”. About 27% of all respondents claimed to recognize all the photographs, 23% recognized all the symbols, and 3% recognized all the paintings. About 14% correctly identified all the photographs, 4% correctly identified all the symbols and only 1% correctly identified all the paintings. The findings suggest that today’s college students may be adrift in a sea of images with little ability to see beyond their own generation.”

Continue Reading →

Transforming Information Literacy in the Sciences Through the Lens of e-Science

“In 2011, the ACRL Science & Technology Section (STS) completed its five-year review of the Information Literacy Standards for Science and Engineering/Technology. Predicated by the evolving nature of scholarship and research in the sciences, the reviewing task force strongly recommended that the standards be revised. This paper considers the broad recommendations of the task force, using the framework of e-Science – team-based, data-driven science – to address areas of necessary transformation in information literacy: an advanced team-based model that crosses disciplinary boundaries; a recognition that individuals and groups not only consume information, but also produce it; and stronger interplay between information literacy and complementary literacies. This paper also extrapolates beyond the sciences, referencing broader trends within higher education.”

Continue Reading →

The Poster Session as a Vehicle for Teaching the Scholarly Communication Process

“This chapter will examine the role of the librarian in teaching the scholarly communication process, outline the relationship between a library and a formal undergraduate research program, detail how the poster session operates, and look ahead to how libraries can support expanding undergraduate research programs.”

Continue Reading →

The Neoliberal Library

“Information literacy, from its emergence to its recent formulation, has and continues to uncritically adopt and reproduce neoliberalism within a closed discursive system that works to deny alternative conceptions of library pedagogy and instruction. The knowledge produced by librarianship and information literacy discursive practices is an enactment of power that naturalizes and authorizes neoliberalism and constrains the questioning of inequalities. Library instruction and pedagogy specifically and librarianship more generally need to begin promoting an awareness of the fields’ embeddedness within a neoliberal political and economic context, and engaging critically with that context.”

Continue Reading →

Proposing a Metaliteracy Model to Redefine Information Literacy

“Metaliteracy is envisioned as a comprehensive model for information literacy to advance critical thinking and reflection in social media, open learning settings, and online communities. At this critical time in higher education, an expansion of the original definition of information literacy is required to include the interactive production and sharing of original and repurposed digital materials. Metaliteracy provides an overarching and unifying framework that builds on the core information literacy competencies while addressing the revolutionary changes in how learners communicate, create, and distribute information in participatory environments. Central to the metaliteracy model is a metacognitive component that encourages learners to continuously reflect on their own thinking and literacy development in these fluid and networked spaces. This approach leads to expanded competencies for adapting to the ongoing changes in emerging technologies and for advancing critical thinking and empowerment for producing, connecting, and distributing information as independent and collaborative learners.”

Continue Reading →

Navigating the Information-Scape: Information Visualization and Student Search

“The purpose of this paper is to investigate three tools based on principles of information visualization and measure their impact on undergraduates’ abilities to generate keywords for database research.”

Continue Reading →

Measuring Visual Literacy Ability in Grade Level Pre-Service Teachers

“This descriptive study is preliminary study to investigate the measurement of VL ability across the United States in order to establish a baseline VL ability measure from which to make vital decisions in the purposeful training of visual literacy within teacher preparatory programs and professional development within school districts. This study describes the mean performance levels of 125 participants collected from a randomly stratified national population within five of the six regional accrediting agencies for public higher education. The measures of central tendency and variance for the individual skills within the Avgerinou (2001) VL Index indicate a need for growth, in particular, in the intellectual skills of concrete concepts, defined concepts, and higher order rules. The implications of these findings emphasize the need for more development in critical engagement with visuals especially as it applies to Common Core State Standards assessments, consumer-driven marketing and power roles, and new modes of digital authorship in a media-saturated society.”

Continue Reading →

Iterative Approach to Implicit Student-Generated Mobile Learning to Promote Visual Literacy and Peer Mediated Learning

“This paper aims to report early findings of the second iteration of an implicit student-generated mobile learning project that promotes visual literacy and peer mediated learning. The first iteration was conducted with first year health science students at the University of Queensland, Australia, in 2013. We found that while the video assessment task may have aided learning for each student around their specific chosen topic, overall course learning outcomes did not improve. This was perhaps due to a failure of the peer mediated learning aspect of the learning activity. Furthermore, the labour intensive nature of the task may have attenuated overall performance in the course. Acting on these findings, we adjusted the visually based, peer-to-peer mobile learning activity accordingly.”

Continue Reading →