Stunted “Visual Competence” in Archaeology: a Problem Hiding in Plain Sight

It is a truism that archaeology is a profoundly visual discipline; it is paradoxical, then, that so
much of its output exhibits a poor level of what here I opt to call visual competence. There are, of course, many glorious exceptions to the picture I will sketch out here (pun probably
intended). Yet as someone who returned to the UK university sector to teach archaeology
after a decade as a jobbing illustrator and then museum educator and writer working closely with designers, I am as often dismayed as thrilled by the quality of images in many new
archaeological publications, and other documents and presentations created by archaeologists for specialist or public consumption. This is an international issue.

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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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Digital Design and 3D Printing in Technology Teacher Education

This paper reports changes in the Technion technology/mechanics teacher education courses aimed to enhance students’ knowledge and skills in teaching digital design and manufacturing. The two major changes are: (1) equipping the departmental laboratory of technology with modern computer aided design software tools (Creo, Mathcad) and 3D printer, and (2) upgrading the courses to meet the conceive-design-implement-operate (CDIO) approach. Our ongoing study indicates that the CDIO approach can be applied to balance learning pedagogical fundamentals, training technological skills, and teaching practice. The study provides indications that learning activities in the courses facilitate development of visual literacy skills.

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Developing Visual Literacy: Historical and Manipulated Photography in the Social Studies Classroom

The importance of visual literacy development is demonstrated using social studies examples from an innovative, collaborative arts program. Discussion of the Visual Thinking Strategies approach, connections to the Common Core State Standards, prompts for higher-order critical thinking, and the application of historical and social science ideas in the classroom are presented.

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Visual Rhetoric for School Librarians

The role of the school librarian requires mastering numerous dynamic and pliable 21st-century literacies. Of those literacies, visual literacy is sometimes overlooked, yet appear in numerous standards at the state and national levels.

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Transfer: Learning In and Through the Academic Museum

Academic art museums have been developing and using pedagogic approaches that support learning in the museum for many years. As with many teaching and learning practices, these have shifted from curator-centered lecturing to visitor-centered active learning techniques. Concern for how learning in the art museum can leverage learning outside of the museum (what we here refer to as learning through the museum) is a more recent consideration taken up by museum directors, curators, university teaching and learning centers, and individual faculty members.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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.”

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Digital Literacy: A Demand for Nonlinear Thinking Styles

“This paper makes a case for a direct relationship between digital literacy and nonlinear thinking styles, articulates a demand for nonlinear thinking styles in education and the workplace, and states implications for a connection between nonlinear thinking styles visual literacy, and intuitive artistic practice.”

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