This work-in-progress seeks to benchmark the visual literacy skills of undergraduate mechanical engineering students at a small technical university, as well as the faculty’s current efforts to develop students’ visual literacy skills. Visual literacy is accepted as a crucial 21st century for students, professionals, and citizens, yet its definition varies greatly across the literature. In addition, existing assessment tools are too general and are insufficient for measuring visual literacy as it applies to engineering design. Our work seeks to establish a simplified method for assessing the visual literacy skills of graduating seniors in a mechanical engineering program.
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.
The University of Colorado Boulder (CU–Boulder) is known for strong programming in the sciences and a teaching faculty at the forefront of science education and reform. Librarians at CU–Boulder, in collaboration with science faculty, are challenged to improve undergraduate science education. Using rare, historic, and artistic works from Special Collections, the librarians employ active learning techniques that emphasize visual imagery to improve the quality of undergraduate learning in the sciences. This paper describes the fledgling program developed by CU–Boulder librarians to create a space for student-driven, collaborative learning using historic and visual scientific materials found in Special Collections.
“This dissertation presents work towards the development of a multiple finger, worn, dynamic display device, which utilizes a method of texture encoded information to haptically render graphical images for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.”