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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Visual Literacy Practices in Higher Education

In our media-driven age visuals are increasingly frequent and prominently present in society and their importance and influence across academic disciplines is growing. This makes it essential to enable learners to become visually literate and justifies the need for teaching visual literacy competencies. Yet, there has been little research on visual literacy practices undertaken across academic subjects and institutions in higher education. Moreover, the key challenges and factors of success for achieving visual literacy education haven’t been studied to date. Accordingly, this research aimed to elucidate the issues most relevant to visual literacy and to identify practices undertaken by universities/ faculties and academic libraries. Explorative and descriptive research was conducted using literature analysis and an online questionnaire distributed to an international group of visual literacy practitioners.

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Visual Literacy (VL) in Teacher Preparation: Measurement to Direction

An abridgment of the dissertation Measuring Visual Literacy Ability in Graduate Level Pre-Service Teachers by Teresa A. Farrell, this quantitative descriptive study was designed to establish a baseline of VL ability within this population using a national pool of graduate level students enrolled in teacher preparation programs. Avgerinou’s (2007) VL Index (modified to an online format) was the instrument used to measure VL ability. Results of this study indicate there may be a need for purposeful VL instruction in teacher preparation programs to better equip teachers in K-12 to be visually literate.

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The Teacher Candidates’ Views Concerning the 21st Century Literacy Education Project (LEP)

Today, the concept of “Literacy” represents reading and writing in various forms of texts which embody knowledge and a range of skills. Different literacies are essential for human to live, work and produce in the society. In order to use communication technologies in educational and teaching processes appropriately, individuals are not only required to become scientifically and technologically literate but also multimedia literate. Within this respect, a Project called “The 21st Century Literacies Education for Teacher Candidates” was conducted with the support of TUBITAK at Amasya University.

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Questionable Benefit of Visual and Peer Mediated Learning on Overall Learning Outcomes of a First-Year Physiology Course

This paper reports on attempts to incorporate creative visual literacy, by way of student owned technology, and sharing of student-generated multimedia amongst peers to enhance learning in a first year human physiology course. In 2013, students were set the task of producing an animated video, which outlined the pathogenesis of a chosen disease. Students were then encouraged to view each other’s videos. Students in the same course in 2012 engaged in a purely written, non-shared task. The depth of topic understanding did not change between 2012 and 2013. Moderating for cohort variation, students in 2013 showed poorer overall learning outcomes than students in the 2012 cohort. The authors speculate that the peer mediated aspect of the learning activity failed, and that the video task was disruptive to wider learning, due to it being time consuming and unfamiliar to students.

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Librarians and Graphic Design: Preparation, Roles, and Desired Support

Librarians often become de facto graphic designers for their libraries, taking responsibility for designing signage, handouts, brochures, web pages, and many other promotional, instructional, and wayfinding documents. However, the majority of librarians with graphic design responsibilities are not trained as graphic designers. This exploratory research study surveyed librarians to determine their graphic design training and preparation for their assumed design duties as well as the support and training they desire. Results from this study can be used by library administrators when providing support for librarians with graphic design duties.

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Imagining a Constructionist Game-based Pedagogical Model: Using Tabletop Role-playing Game Creation to Enhance Literature Education in High School English Classes

In today’s K-12 educational environment with the newly adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS), improving student literacy as a foundational skill to obtain success in all other subject areas is one of the most important goals. Unfortunately, many literature curricula suffer from a lack of innovative pedagogy despite the introduction of various educational technologies meant to aid student learning. This study focused on developing a new game-based constructionist pedagogical model for literature education using tabletop role-playing game creation. Using Shulman’s (1987) Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) that eventually evolved into Mishra and Kohler’s (2006) Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) as the main theoretical framework, this design-based research showed how tabletop role-playing game creation as a constructionist pedagogical strategy successfully helped high school students to receive the benefits of high quality literature education.

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Exploring Relationships Between Thinking Style and Sex, Age, Academic Major, Occupation, and Levels of Arts Engagement Among Professionals Working in Museums

With evidence that arts engagement and nonlinear thinking style both utilize insight, intuition, and emotion in the decision making process, the literature has driven an investigation of the relationship between levels of arts engagement and thinking style preference. This nonexperimental correlational study (N = 101) explored (a) the prevalence of linear, nonlinear, or balanced linear/nonlinear thinking style of professionals working in museums. (b) Whether thinking style has a relationship with (i) age; (ii) sex; (iii) academic major; (iv) occupation; (v) levels of arts engagement. Two theoretical frameworks underpinned this study: (a) new literacies and (b) cognitive styles.

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Connecting Inspiration with Information: Studio Art Students and Information Literacy Instruction

This article discusses the partnership between the library and the studio art faculty that led to the integration of information literacy instruction into the studio art curriculum. The author outlines the importance of information literacy to artistic practice and student success, and discusses the program of instruction and learning outcomes. Early assessment of student needs and the program’s effectiveness, using both citation analysis and anecdotal feedback, reveals that the program has contributed to the maturation of student research and inquiry skills, and positively affected the relationship between the department and the library, and provides preliminary conclusions about undergraduate studio art information behaviors. An ongoing further program of study to more fully describe the information needs of undergraduate studio art students is also outlined.

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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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The Cultural Image Literacy Assessment: One Hundred Images Every American Should Know

This paper describes the evolution of the Cultural Image Literacy Assessment-USA©. This assessment represents an important first step in measuring image literacy within a culture. Visual literacy is an integral part of all cultures. The framework used in creating an assessment of cultural image literacy in the United States could be employed in developing measures of visual literacy for other cultures. In so doing, image literacy can be compared within and across cultures. This survey study explores the effects today’s visual environments have on knowledge levels, and more importantly, knowledge gaps. The study builds on research relating to knowledge gap theory by describing the evolution of cultural image literacy assessment and providing current levels of image literacy within the United States.

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Teaching Information Literacy Using Argument, Alternative Perspectives, and Images

This paper reports on a pilot study conducted at a medium–sized state university in California. An information literacy instructional method which incorporated instruction in argument analysis using both text and image-based material was used in two sections of a two unit quarter length first year information literacy course. The course was part of a first year experience cluster program that included several linked general education courses, including instruction in writing and reasoning. The information literacy course required an argument and research paper. The instruction consisted of: an analysis of an article’s argument components, a topic analysis worksheet; news photo, advertisement, political cartoon and infographic assignments, emphasizing various elements of argument and alternative perspectives. Results of the pre and post-tests and of a sampling of research papers are reported and discussed.

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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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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.

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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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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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