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

Visual Literacy Practices in Higher Education: What, Why, and How? by Joanna Kędra and Rasa Žakevičiūtė

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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