Visual Literacy Practices in Higher Education: What, Why, and How?

The nature of today’s communication is overwhelmingly visual. Images, as modes of communication, play a dominant role in our daily activities and are especially prominent in the lives of young people. Today’s students were born in image-saturated environments, the era of internet, digital technologies and touchscreens. Their communication practices are mediated visually, including photo and video creation and sharing, video chatting, and the visual language of emoticons, GIFs, and emojis. However, the moment students enter university classrooms, they are thrown into almost a completely textual world. Such highly textual context may cause an alienation from the course material and content. In consequence, contemporary millennial and post-millennial generations, although usually technologically savvy, are often visually illiterate.

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Visual Literacy in Preservice Teachers: A Case Study in Biology

In this study, we explore the competence of preservice teachers (n = 161) in labelling and creating new cross-sectional human diagrams, based on anatomy knowledge depicted in longitudinal sections. Using educational standards to assess visual literacy and ad hoc open questions, results indicate limited skills for both tasks. However, their competence is particularly poor creating diagrams, where shortcomings were observed not only in visual literacy but in content knowledge. We discuss the misconceptions detected during these assessments.

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Visual Literacy in Practice: Use of Images in Students, Academic Work

Digital technology has changed the way in which students utilize visual materials in academic work and has increased the importance of visual literacy skills. This paper reports the findings of a research project examining undergraduate and graduate students’ visual literacy skills and use of images in the context of academic work. The study explored types of visual resources used, the role that images play in academic papers and presentations, and the ways students select, evaluate, and process images. The findings of the study indicate that students lack skills in selecting, evaluating, and using images. Students use a range of visual resources in their presentations but rarely use images in papers.

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Visual Literacies in a US Undergraduate Writing Course: A Case Study of Transmediation

This interpretive case study examines how undergraduate students enact visual literacies, focusing on transmediation from visual-embedded research papers into multimodal brochures, in an entry-level college writing course at a large research university in the U.S. Data sources included students’ artifacts, interview transcripts, and field notes.

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Using Visual Materials to Teach Information Literacy Outside the Arts Curriculum

Students in non-arts disciplines generally are not taught to read and interpret visual images in the same way that those in the arts are taught. As a result, students in non-arts disciplines are often uncertain how to incorporate visual primary sources into their research. Using several of the frames outlined in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education as an overarching structure, as well as the pedagogical model outlined in TeachArchives.org that focuses on active learning techniques, the authors outline their instructional techniques for teaching students to work with, and even interrogate, visual resources in a non-arts-based classroom.

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Understanding Corruption through Freehand Drawings: A Case Study of Undergraduate Business Students’ Visual Learning in the Classroom

Interest in the role of visual literacy within education has grown significantly over the last 50 years. Many scholars maintain that living in an image-rich culture in the twenty-first century requires preparing visually literate graduates who are capable of a critical reading and understanding of visual texts, as well as constructing images through critical thinking. However, nowadays, discussion about visual learning and development of visual literacy competencies of students studying business and management remains quite limited. This paper presents a case study of a visual learning activity introduced to 1st year undergraduate students which are often referred to as ‘digital natives’. This activity aims to develop students’ visual critical thinking about a complex social phenomenon of corruption through their engagement with a non-digital activity such as freehand drawing.

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Tomes/Consume This! Engaging Patron Expertise through Artists’ Books

This article presents one way that librarians, archivists, and educators can create new knowledge by connecting communities with rare material culture. The authors share how they engaged critically reflective practices while gathering descriptions of rare Mexican artists’ books at community-engaged outreach events. The books took on new meanings once they were removed from the context of the archives, and were centered within diverse communities.

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The Relationship between Metaliteracy Pretest, Posttest, and Metacognitive Strategies for Library Research Skills Scale: Creating a Metaliteracy Source for Online ED.D. Students

The purpose of this quantitative, quasi-experimental, exploratory study was to create a metaliteracy course for online Ed.D. students and determine if there was a relationship between the Metacognitive Strategies for Library Research Skills Scale, Metaliteracy Pretest, and Metaliteracy Posttest.

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The Art of Information Literacy: New Competencies for Art, Architecture, and Design Learners

Art, architecture, and design curriculum in higher education has evolved in many ways over the past decade. While many universities and colleges still ascribe to the Bauhaus model as a core approach to instruction, shifts in technology, modes of making, global perspectives, and the professional landscape have required responsiveness on the part of these institutions. Today’s art, architecture, and design learners need to be equipped to navigate, evaluate, and ethically use vast quantities and varieties of information in their practices. As a result of these evolutions and the influence of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, library pedagogy for these disciplines has accordingly shifted away from traditional bibliographic instruction and towards information literacy-based approaches.

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Teaching Students to Critically Read Digital Images: A Visual Literacy Approach Using the DIG Method

This innovative teaching idea, the Digital Image Guide (DIG) Method, addresses the pressing need to develop visual pedagogies in the university classroom by providing a technique for students to use to critically read digital images. This article also introduces the concept of shallow and deep images. It then explains the difference between the two types of images and how to use the DIG Method to dig deeper in order to understand deep images. By utilizing the DIG Method, students can learn to analyze, interpret, evaluate and comprehend images found on social media sites and around the web, increasing their visual literacy skills in the process.

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Social Media and New Visual Literacies: Proposal Based on an Innovative Teaching Project

Social networks and collaboration make it possible to offer new metacognitive horizons for comprehension of theories in a group of students considered digitally native. This study discusses the applicability of different forms of visualisation used as a constructivist learning technique on social networks.

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Representing Gender: Visual Literacy Instruction in the Academic Library

Contemporary society is dominated by visual communication, yet visual literacy is a learned skill that requires training. Gender issues, particularly the subjects of gender diversity and power struggles, are deeply pertinent to today’s visual culture. The critical consumption of information has long been taught in libraries, though instruction has typically prioritized text-based sources. However, visual literacy instruction has the capacity to provoke critical inquiry into issues of gender, race, social class, and ethnicity. As institutions that promote social justice, libraries can help improve diversity and inclusion in their communities through teaching visual literacy skills at all levels. Critical visual literacy instruction can also help academic libraries advance student scholarship, which can only be achieved if they are literate in all forms of knowledge production.

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Reading the World – Teaching Visual Analysis in Higher Education

This article provides a practical guide for teaching visual analysis to university students. By adapting Serafini’s curricular and pedagogical framework for teaching multimodal representations to incorporate self-reflection, I evince how visual analysis can be taught in a writing course and similar introductory courses.

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Past, Present, and Future: Mapping the Research in Visual Literacy

The multi-disciplinarity of visual literacy has become even more pronounced in an age of digital information. What shared questions do we ask in our research, where does our work intersect and how do those intersections define the field of visual literacy? Through an analysis of the articles published in the Journal of Visual Literacy from its inception in 1981 through 2017, this article aims to identify the research topics and questions that tie together the diverse disciplines in which visual literacy research takes place and to suggest areas for future research. Mapping the questions that drive our research can help us better define the field, better articulate the value of our scholarship and better share our work with those in the communities in which we teach and practice.

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Gaming for Multiliteracies: Video Games in a Case Study with Primary School Students to Enhance Information, Visual and Media Literacies

The aims of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of video games when learning multiliteracies competences, study how to use video games on educational contexts, carry through a program with primary school students, and draw recommendations to design similar projects.

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Enhancing High Order Science Visual Literacy Skills in Biology Learners

Today’s consumers also termed as the “Eye Generation” consume lots of visual data through the net, mobile phones, advertisement, mobile applications and many others. This is because the visuals are considered as a more accessible means of obtaining and communicating messages.

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Data Visualization Literacy: Definitions, Conceptual Frameworks, Exercises, and Assessments

In the information age, the ability to read and construct data visualizations becomes as important as the ability to read and write text. However, while standard definitions and theoretical frameworks to teach and assess textual, mathematical, and visual literacy exist, current data visualization literacy (DVL) definitions and frameworks are not comprehensive enough to guide the design of DVL teaching and assessment. This paper introduces a data visualization literacy framework (DVL-FW) that was specifically developed to define, teach, and assess DVL.

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Collecting Virtual and Augmented Reality in the Twenty-First Century Library

In this paper, we discuss possible pedagogical applications for virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), within a humanities/social sciences curriculum, articulating a critical need for academic libraries to collect and curate 3D objects. We contend that building infrastructure is critical to keep pace with innovative pedagogies and scholarship. We offer theoretical avenues for libraries to build a repository 3D object files to be used in VR and AR tools and sketch some anticipated challenges. To build an infrastructure to support VR/AR collections, we have collaborated with College of Liberal Arts to pilot a program in which Libraries and CLA faculty work together to bring VR/AR into liberal arts curricula.

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