Visual Literacy Synthesized: A Content Analysis of Syllabi to Build a Better Visual Literacy Course

This paper implements a content analysis approach to examine syllabi of existing visual literacy
and media literacy courses for themes that meet best
practices as established by the ACRL standards. These
themes have then been combined into a syllabus template representative of a course that will meet the
commonly accepted needs of contemporary students
in higher education. The template includes recommended readings and assignments.

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Using Photography to Foster Intergenerational Understanding

This study examines how a visual art academic experience might help to reduce anxiety about interactions with the elderly, mitigate fears over aging, encourage more interactions with older people and improve visual literacy skills. University students in an introductory digital photography course interpreted conversations with residents of a local nursing home with visual images. An analysis of critique discussions and student images reveals the project’s capacity for building empathy and visual literacy. This academic experience might help to mitigate students’ fears over aging while establishing intergenerational communication.

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Teaching Visual Literacy Skills in a One-Shot Session

Just as one-shot information literacy sessions can be implemented in college classes to improve students’ research capabilities, similarly-styled sessions on image research can increase their visual literacy skills. The desired outcome of teaching an instructional session is to provide students with the tools and confidence they need to effectively use high-quality visual materials in their undergraduate years and beyond.

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Teaching Visual and Media Literacy Skills Through Media Production Technology

Information professionals such as archivists and librarians are faced with the challenge of preserving, describing, and providing access to information encoded on a variety of media, both text based and visual. While the visual and media literacy discourse recognizes the role of information professionals in visual, media, and information literacy education, the literature contains few pedagogical approaches those charged with training informational professionals at the graduate level. This chapter discusses one approach to visual and media literacy instruction in the Moving Image Archives course offered at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, and suggests one method for visual and media literacy instruction at the graduate level. This technology-based approach addresses the “designing and creating” competencies from the Association of College and Research Libraries Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, creating an environment that simulates production by introducing students to the tools and technologies of media production. This approach could also be used in other academic disciplines, such as film and media studies, where students learn to analyze and interpret specific media products, but do not engage directly with the technologies used to create these images.

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Developing Interview Skills and Visual Literacy: A New Model of Engagement for Academic Libraries

This case study presents a cocurricular initiative at the Margery Somers Foster Center at Rutgers University Libraries in New Brunswick, NJ. The initiative resulted in an interview workshop for the course Knowledge and Power, a “mission course” of the Douglass Residential College. This discussion-based workshop uses visual and multimedia resources to teach useful skills for conducting meaningful interviews, develops deeper understanding of an interview as a two-way social interaction composed of listening and talking, cultivates ethnographic and cultural sensitivity, and empowers students to critically engage with visual forms of communication and the meanings of media.

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Constructing and Reading Visual Information: Visual Literacy for Library and Information Science Education

This article examines visual literacy education and research for library and information science profession to educate the information professionals who will be able to execute and implement the ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) Visual Literacy Competency Standards successfully. It is a continuing call for inclusion of visual literacy into the curriculum for library and information science education and research in order to educate students to provide professional services in this visual information world and it is a call for a paradigm shift from text-based information services and research realm to a social construction of meaning, reading, searching, finding meaning in a visual information world.

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Better Images, Better Searchers: Google Images and Visual Literacy in the Sciences and Social Sciences

This chapter describes our instruction efforts concerning Google Images, a specialized search engine. We were inspired to teach Google Images to an academic audience by our experiences in the Power Searching with Google MOOC, Google’s effort to improve searchers’ understanding of their platform’s capabilities, and by our academic community’s interest in finding images for coursework, presentations, publications, and other scholarly activities.

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A Discussion of the Practicality of the Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

The Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education presents guidelines for educators and provides a scientific framework in which students can acquire visual literacy skills and use visual media in a critical way throughout their professional career. The Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education was composed by the American Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). By means of these standards, the members of the association identified the domains of visual literacy and specified what learning outcomes could enable students to acquire visual literacy skills. The present paper is a discussion of the extent to which the Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education can be met.

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A Collaborative Vision: Partnering with STEM Faculty to Teach Visual Literacy Through Multimedia Research Presentations

This article discusses visual literacy, its connection to information literacy, and its significance to scientific disciplines. It includes a case study from Washington and Lee (W&L) University that showcases how libraries can integrate visual literacy instruction into STEM courses. In the study, two W&L Library staff members partnered with one W&L visiting assistant professor of physics to transform a common assignment, the academic poster, into a digital form of visual communication. This shift resulted in a revised evaluative rubric and led to enhanced library led instruction focusing on information literacy, visual literacy, and digital literacy skills.

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Visual Literacy Across the Disciplines

Visual literacy is a crucial skill for today’s university students and faculty. Thus, it is essential for academic librarians to have an understanding of basic issues surrounding use and discovery of images. This chapter defines visual literacy, explores potential visual needs across subject disciplines, discusses search strategies for images, describes potential roles
for academic librarians related to visual literacy, discusses ethical concerns regarding images, lists visual literacy competencies and selected resources on visual literacy, and indicates where to locate images.

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Text, Image, Story: Using Photo Comics for Instruction, Promotion, and Participation in the Academic Library

In response to the growing call for authentic learning and content creation in the information literacy setting, librarians at Emporia State University have created assignments and activities that utilize an iOS app called Comic Life to create photo comics. Students in a for-credit course created photo comics as information literacy narratives, while First Year Seminar students worked to build library guides. These activities encourage honest, meaningful reflection by students and allow them to demonstrate metaliteracy skills in an engaging and creative manner and can allow for both individual and group-created content. Students at Emporia State University have expressed high levels of satisfaction and engagement when participating in these activities.

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Reception of ‘Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education’ (ERIC, 2011) in the Polish Education System

In the paper the author describes the cultural and technological context of the visual literacy, coming from the specifics of the developing image culture and shaping of the information society. It shows the results of the pilot research on the Polish students in the scope of specific visual competences. The reference material for the research tasks prepared for‘”The legitimacy of visual literacy in the process of education” project was the visual literacy set (Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, Chicago 2011) developed in academic and educational environments in the USA (The Association of College and Research Libraries, ACRL).

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.”

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Cognitive Visual Literacy: From Theories and Competencies to Pedagogy

“Visual literacy is an important part of being literate in the twenty-first century because people are interacting with visual materials with increasing frequency and immediacy as a result of the digital age. By understanding cognitive theories associated with visual literacy and combining them with the ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, librarians can help students become visually literate. In addition to describing these cognitive theories and ACRL standards, the author provides practical suggestions as to how they may be utilized in visual literacy instruction.”

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Beyond the Physical Archive: Imagining Primary Source Literacies in the Digital Age

“In this paper, we propose strategies for outreach and collaboration with faculty and archivists that are centered on digitized primary sources. These strategies are based on our experiences and informed by a review of the literature of teaching faculty in several disciplines, as well as the archival literature, to identify current methods of teaching and supporting undergraduates’ research with primary sources.4 Next, we present examples of activities, assignments, and approaches to digitized primary source pedagogy that are linked to relevant information literacy and visual literacy standards. Finally, we offer concluding thoughts on the development of primary source literacies, not just in an era of digital abundance, but at a time in which the rapidly expanding field of digital humanities has the potential to complicate and alter students’ relation to sources even more dramatically.”

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An Integrated Approach to Developing Visual Literacy

“Developing instructional approaches and learning activities on applicable visual literacy training for K-12 teachers can be a challenge to teacher preparation programs and courses. This study illustrated how an integrated approach, which incorporated learning activities/projects and blended learning process, was adapted and implemented into one graduate education course for increasing pre-service and in-service teachers’ visual literacy skills. The effectiveness of such an instruction approach on participants’ visual literacy competences was examined. Most participants indicated that they met all of Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.”

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